Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Sage

Pumpkin Risotto With Crispy Sage And Marscapone
Pumpkin Risotto With Crispy Sage And Marscapone
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Pumpkin Risotto With Crispy Sage And Marscapone

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August 1, 2016Risotto is one of those things that requires a little love, but returns it with interest. This pumpkin risotto will certainly have you going back for more.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • 10 mins

    40 mins

    50 mins

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Yields: Serves 4

Risotto is one of those things that requires a little love, but returns it with interest when you sit down at the table.

My mother makes a great pumpkin risotto and it is still a real favourite of mine. In fact, I had to try a lot of different methods to get one that came even close to hers. The thing to keep in mind is that you need a decent pumpkin and some quality stock or you will be selling yourself and your guests short.

This version uses the humble pumpkin in multiple ways. It is first roasted with garlic and a little cumin to bring out its natural sweetness. Some of it is then pureed and stirred through the rice to coat every grain with its own layer of silky pumpkin-ness, the remainder is left as is. I would highly recommend using the seeds in the recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds as an additional garnish (or tasty snack).

Sage is the perfect accompaniment for pumpkin and the crispy leaves add another flavour and texture to an already comforting dish. The mascarpone is optional, but if you are feeling a little decadent it elevates the dish to one of luxury.


600g pumpkin (1 small or 1/2 large), skin on, chopped into large wedges

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tbsp cumin, ground

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, small, very finely diced

300g risotto rice

150ml white wine

1 chicken stock (or vegetable stock), hot

50g cheese, firm (parmesan/pecorino/gran padano), grated

50g butter, cold and cut into 1-2cm dice

80g mascarpone (optional)

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, you can use the seeds from above (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Sprinkle the garlic over the pumpkin and place on an oiled roasting tray. Sprinkle over the cumin, some salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and cook at 180C for 20-25 minutes until soft and starting to brown.

Roasted Pumpkin Direction

Reserve 1/3 of the pumpkin and chop into 1-2cm dice. You can keep the skin or remove it depending on taste. Reserve for garnish.

Remove the skin from the remaining pumpkin and puree it in a bowl with a stick blender or whisk.

To make the risotto, heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté without colouring until translucent. Make sure you have your stock heated in a pot.

Add the rice and stir gently for 2 minutes until hot and toasted.

Add the white wine and stir until absorbed by the rice.

Add a cup of the hot stock and stir gently until absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock until absorbed or the rice is just cooked. It shouldn't be chalky, but still have some bite. The risotto should have a fairly wet texture as it will firm up when adding the cheese, butter and pumpkin. Water can be added as required if all of the stock is used up before this point.

Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the pumpkin Purée.

Add the cold butter and cheese and mix in quickly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Check for seasoning.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small over a high heat and once very hot, quickly fry the sage leaves for 4 - 5 seconds per side and drain on kitchen paper.

To serve, place the risotto on the plate and arrange the pumpkin on top. Grate over some more cheese and place a scoop of mascarpone in the middle. Scatter over the pumpkin seeds and sage leaves to finish.


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About the author

Ben Macdonald

When Ben isn’t devouring food, he is thinking what to cook next. After spending his adult life eating his way around the world he ended up channelling his culinary creativity as a finalist in Masterchef Australia – famously impressing Heston Blumenthal with a campfire from steak and potatoes - before being eliminated the very next episode.
Following some time in several top restaurants he is now focussed on sharing his love of home cooking and making each meal better than the last.