This Vegetarian Pumpkin Risotto is very creamy, oozy and gooey full of flavors and texture without using any cheese!
We have a very special and secret ingredient throughout this recipe that will take this dish to the next level And that is my friend, “Golden saffron“.
Golden Saffron not only giving the dish richer color but also adds a different level of flavor into your dish too! You must try this! Jump to Recipe
As a Persian girl growing up in a traditional family there was lots of cooking, gathering and tasting foods together especially on weekends, I have learned a lot about different usage of herbs and spices in Persian dishes and I would always ask my grandmother why she was using a certain ingredients in certain stews but not in others! I would watch her and absorb what she was doing but to be honest, I never cooked at home until I moved to England! Then I put everything I have learned from those years into practice when I started cooking.
Watching my grandmother, Mother, and Aunts …everyone was using this secret ingredient in almost every Persian stew and saffron rice. It is a very special ingredient in my kitchen and in my heart.
You may say no cheese, in risotto? how is it even possible? Any Italian would read this may get offended. How dare you make risotto and not use Parmeggiano! :-)) Trust me it is possible and you don’t need to compromise to get an original taste, this is tastier! Just follow this recipe and you would understand what I mean! Do not forget to tag me in your post.
In thinking how to make this pumpkin risotto delicious, gooey and oozy as the ones we normally see in the restaurants, I had to figure out what the trick was. I found it, the trick is you have to have a good bicep muscles to stir this dish for a good 20 minutes. NON STOP! Are you ready for this? 🙂 Let’s build up some muscle!!
To get started, you need to roast pumpkin with some onion, garlic, salt pepper for about 20 minutes on 200 C.
This is a perfect dish for either a date night at home or simply for a chill Sunday lunch/dinner as this is a comfort food. Simple and easy to make, you have to have all the ingredients and you are good to go! Make sure to purchase a proper Italian risotto rice as you won’t get the same result with normal brown or basmati rice. The risotto rice has more starch and it will release by stirring it very often to make your dish gooier. I used the organic Arborio risotto rice and you can purchase it from almost any grocery store. You need a very good and hot vegetable stock, you can simply mix onions, carrots, celery, garlic with some spices and herbs to make your stock but if you are limited with time, you can use 2 organic vegetable stocks and hot boiling water to mix well instead!
While your pumpkin is roasting, start making the risotto. Use a shallow pan if you have one, which helps the rice cook more evenly so parts of it doesn’t overcook before the rest is done.
Texture can make or break the dish
Have you ever bitten into rock-hard rice? It isn’t pleasant. You can prevent your risotto from becoming overcooked rice by properly toasting it before adding the liquids. This is one of the most crucial steps in making risotto because it is the first step with the rice, setting the tone for the dish. If the rice is burned, the entire dish will taste burned. If it isn’t toasted enough, you’ll have a risotto dish that will chip a tooth. Make sure that the rice is golden before adding white wine to deglaze the pan. It should toast for about three to four minutes.
Stir, stir, stir!
This is the trick I have figured out for this Oozy and gooey risotto!
I can’t emphasize it enough, but you must stir the risotto. If you think that the longer you stir, the more love you’re putting into your risotto, then you won’t make this mistake. Risotto needs a lot of tender love and care, so don’t let it cook like ordinary rice. Each time you add vegetable stock to the Arborio rice, you must stir until the liquid is soaked up, then add more vegetable stock until the risotto is creamy. If it’s not creamy, then you will have a flavorless risotto that is not up to par.
Timing is everything
Have patience, my friends. A risotto dish can take up to 30 minutes to make, but it will only be a good risotto if ingredients are added in the correct order and are cooked for the right amount of time. So, read carefully and take note. Here are the basic steps to making a great risotto.
vegetarian Pumpkin risotto with saffron
This pumpkin risotto is very creamy, oozy and gooey without using any cheese in this recipe! even non-vegetarian people would love to eat this!
full of flavours and textures, let's get cooking!
- 1/2 Medium pumpkin roasted known as onion pumpkin
- 1/3 cup Diced onion
- 2 clove Diced garlic
- 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice rinse before cooking
- 1/4 cup Dry white wine
- 2 tbsp Olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1/8 tsp Ground saffron
- 25 grams Unsalted butter organic and grass-fed
- 1/4 tsp Salt/pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
For the pumpkin:
Preheat oven to 200 C. Slice the pumpkin in smaller pieces, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender. (Note: The risotto can be prepared while you’re waiting for the pumpkin to bake.) —removing and discarding the seeds— put aside till you mix them with risotto rice.
For the Risotto:
Heat butter and oil together in a large saucepan or frypan.
Gently cook the onion and garlic.
Add the rice and cook, stirring until the rice is coated in the oil mix.
Cook this about 3-4 minute.
Pour over 1 cup of the hot stock.
Cook, stirring often until the liquid is almost all absorbed.
You don't want the liquid to be boiling in with the rice, just a gentle simmer.
Continue stirring and adding stock one cup at a time until the stock is all absorbed and the rice is tender.
Add the roasted pumpkin previously prepared and continue to add more broth and keep stirring.
Add the saffron on the last stage and stir it a couple of times before serving.
This takes about 20 minutes.
(Note: The risotto can be prepared while you’re waiting for the pumpkin to bake.) The trick is that you have to stir it continuously for 20 minutes to get a gooey and oozy risotto. Enjoy this non-cheesy risotto full of flavors and textures.