October = Pumpkin. There’s no way around it. They’re on our porches, in our pastries, and painted on store windows. But in our opinion, eating it beats carving it any day. In fact, we think the best place for pumpkin is in a creamy, hearty, mouthwatering bowl of risotto.
The Italian classic is the perfect fall dish, and while it tastes luxurious, it’s not difficult to make. Pair it with our Stanford Brut and prepare to be amazed at how harmoniously these two work together. The bubbles and slight acidity cut through the creaminess, and accentuate the flavors without overly enhancing the sweetness of the pumpkin. Your first time serving this duo certainly won’t be your last, so wow your guests for a fall get-together, or whip it up for a weeknight meal.
*You can use butternut squash in place of pumpkin for an equally drool-worthy risotto
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup Weibel Chardonnay or any dry white wine
- About 6 cups of hot chicken vegetable stock
- About 4 cups pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 medium), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Saute pumpkin chunks in a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat until soft. Puree half of the pumpkin using a blender or food processor. Set aside puree and remaining pumpkin chunks.
In a medium-size heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring continuously, just until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, to coat the rice with the oil.
Add the white wine and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the rice completely, about 3 cups, and continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Pour in 1 cup more of the remaining stock and stir and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and the diced pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn’t simmer anymore. Stir in the Parmesan and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish.
Pair with our Stanford Brut and serve immediately!
*original recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com