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Pumpkin Risotto with Brown Butter and Bacon

All things pumpkin are perfect for fall and this recipe gives the ingredients a savory twist! This pumpkin risotto is topped with crispy bacon and brown butter with crispy sage leaves.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword bacon, brown butter, fall, pork, pumpkin, risotto, squash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the pumpkin risotto:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock, warmed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Kosher salt, as needed

For the brown butter and bacon topping:

  • ½ pound thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, sliced into 1” wide strips
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 medium sage leaves

Instructions

For the pumpkin risotto:

  • Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the rice, sauté in the olive oil, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds, then add ¼ cup of the warmed chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir constantly until all stock has been absorbed.
  • Continue adding the stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until all of the stock has been used and rice is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Stir in the pumpkin puree and nutmeg followed by the Pecorino Romano cheese. Season to taste with salt then set aside and keep warm.

For the brown butter and bacon topping:

  • Add the bacon to a large sauté pan and fry over medium heat. Cook the bacon until it’s crispy and remove to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan and reserve for another use. Return pan to medium-low heat, add the butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the sage then continue to cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the butter is a toasty-brown color and has a nutty aroma. Once this happens, immediately remove the brown butter to a small bowl. Set the sage aside on a plate.

For serving:

  • Divide risotto among warmed serving bowls or plates and top with the bacon, brown butter mixture and crispy sage. Serve immediately.