Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto with Pancetta (Or No Pancetta for a Vegetarian Option)


The grey Seattle days get some people down. But for me, I think of them more as a cozy blanket snuggled up around the city – a perfect complement for an afternoon spent in front of the fire with a cup of tea, a book and a few furry friends napping on the floor and sofa around us. This risotto is equally cozy – a warming, healthy and hearty dish for one of our beautifully grey Seattle days.

Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto
Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto

This recipe is from Cooking Light. A friend gave us a subscription to this magazine recently, and we really seem to be cooking a lot from it! Also, we accidentally used barley instead of arborio rice. But, the dish turned out lovely. So, feel free to use either – apparently you can’t go wrong.

Bring 3 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Keep warm over low heat and set aside 1/4 cup of warm stock mixture.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add oil. Add 2 ounces chopped pancetta and cook until crisp, stirring frequently. Then add 2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps, 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, and 1 T minced garlic. Cook until tender (about 6 minutes). Stir in 1 cup uncooked arborio rice (or barley) and 2 tsp chopped fresh sage. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and cook 30 seconds, or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1 1/4 cups stock mixture and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add the remaining stock mixture, 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding more. This takes about 22 minutes in total.

Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup canned pumpkin puree, 2 T mascarpone cheese, 2 T chopped fresh chives and 1/4 tsp ground red pepper. Stir in the reserved stock mixture as needed until the risotto reaches its desired consistency.

Spoon 1 cup risotto into each of 4 bowls and serve.

Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto
Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 ounces chopped pancetta (optional, leave out if you’d like to make this vegetarian)
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 cup uncooked arborio rice (or barley)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 T mascarpone cheese
  • 2 T chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper

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Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

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