Fall is finally here and what better way to celebrate this colorful season than by eating its most iconic products? Pumpkin and mushrooms are always a great combination and they work together amazingly well in this classic pumpkin risotto. The sweet and slightly nutty flavor of the pumpkin pairs perfectly with the umami of the mushrooms, the salty sharpness of the Pecorino cheese ties everything together, creating a great creamy consistency.
This recipe is an evergreen from the northern regions of Italy, and it is basically quintessential autumn in a pan. For this reason, during this time of the year, it is very common to find this pumpkin risotto as the dish of the day in many taverns throughout the country and especially in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions.
When I make this recipe at home, I usually like to use Pioppini mushrooms, but any variety you have on hand will work just fine. That being said, if you happen to have some wild mushrooms they will work even better! Last week, for instance, my grandmother and I went mushroom picking and came back with a good amount of fresh Porcini. I made this risotto with them and it was absolutely delicious!
If you want to make this recipe even quicker, you can use store bought pumpkin puree instead of stewing a fresh one. In this case, just make sure it is 100% pumpkin with no added sugars. Also, it is better to add the puree together with the mushrooms, after the rice has already been cooked.
On the other hand, if you have more time you could roast the pumpkin in the oven before adding it to the pumpkin risotto. It will take you around half an hour more, but you will definitely get a deeper and richer flavor.