Pumpkin Risotto with Sage

by Daniela

Pumpkin Risotto with Sage: a classic Italian style risotto recipe

In our Italian-Bulgarian family, among with pasta, risotto is one of the meals that we love and often cook. Well, often means when one of us can afford to spend the required 1 or 1,5 hours for preparation and cooking. Risotto is an easy meal when you get familiar with it but it is not as quick as I wish.

Pumpkin Risotto with Sage: a classic Italian style risotto recipe
Today’s recipe is not new: it was one of my three recipes featured in the Autumn 2016 issue of the magazine So Into Food. This is a very nice and useful free magazine presenting recipes of Bulgarian bloggers. So today I am translating here for you my Pumpkin Risotto recipe and in addition I am adding few more pictures and some advises how to make successfully at home Italian style risotto.

Pumpkin risotto with sage is a classic risotto recipe with lots of variations. I tried to simplify it as much as possible and to avoid too strong flavours, therefore sage is the only spice included in this recipe. If you don’t like sage, you can substitute it by thyme or parsley but keep in mind that the pumpkin & sage combination has a unique taste.

Pumpkin Risotto with Sage: a classic Italian style risotto recipe
As in any other risotto, here as well it is mandatory to use arborio or carnaroli rice. These kinds of rice while cooked are letting out some of the contained starch and at the same time their grains remain firm and don’t get easily overcooked. Any different kind of rice would ruin your risotto: it would simply never become like the real thing.

Pumpkin Risotto with Sage: a classic Italian style risotto recipe
The second basic thing that will lead to the success of your risotto is toasting the rice before adding the broth. That means: when you add the rice, let it toast for a minute or two in the oil, while stirring continuously. That way the rice grains will become even more solid and less likely to get overcooked.
And last but not least: add the broth gradually, laddle by laddle. Pour the next laddle only when the previous is already absorbed. The final density of the risotto is up to your choice: you can even make it all’onda, meaning with a bit of liquid remaining. The most important thing is not to overcook the rice, and this is not so easy with arborio or carnaroli.

Pumpkin Risotto with Sage: a classic Italian style risotto recipe
If you follow these basic rules, most probably you will be able to make a great Italian style risotto. Oh, and don’t forget to add butter or grated parmiggiano at the end: they would add a nice touch to the taste that would definitely make a difference.


Pumpkin Risotto with Sage: a classic Italian style risotto recipe
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Pumpkin Risotto with Sage

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 2


  • 200 g raw pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 200 g rice, arborio or carnaroli
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3-4 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 20 g butter
  • optionally black pepper


  • Heat the olive oil in a big pan over a medium temperature. Add onion and pumpkin and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add a laddle of the stock and cover the pan with a lid. Let the vegetables cook for about 20 minutes, until the pumpkin softens. If necessary add a bit more stock. When all the liquid is absorbed (if it is not, remove the lid from the paadd the rice and toast it together with the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir. When the wine is absorbed, add a laddle of the stock, stir and let the rice absorb it. Do not cover the pan. Continue the process until the rice softens (about 20 minuteand stir every now and then.
  • About 2-3 minutes before removing the pan from the stove, add the sage leaves and stir. After removing the pan from the heat add the butter. Stir until it melts and serve immediately.
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