Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pumpkin Risotto (Soy-Free)

When it comes to things for myself I'm really, really cheap. I've almost always been this way - its both a combination of greed for the few funds I do have and a way to make sure that my other family members have enough money and food. So, as I've mentioned once or twice before, I go on a fiscal fast once in a while to use up everything in the fridge and to ensure that I don't spend anything. Yesterday's meal was using up some fresh brussels sprouts and a huge can of pumpkin puree that I had used for a failed recipe.

About two months ago in one of my cooking classes/internships, a chef from a school in Chicago came and showed us all how to make pumpkin risotto without using butter or cream. He demonstrated nice knife skills of course, and he showed the others how to properly cut onions and even corrected me on a separate task. When it came to finishing the risotto after letting the orzo pasta strands being coated in extra-virgin olive oil, he added in a huge load of chicken stock and then covered the whole thing in parmesan cheese. While I obviously avoided that dish, I couldn't deny that it was visually creamy and it smelled so good.

A week later I had made it and shared it with my mother whom took it for lunch the next day. Today I'm sharing the "recipe" with you, as its really all about feel and what you like. You can even put a little chef's hat on and pretend not to be poor (Okay, maybe that's just me)!

(Pumpkin Risotto Ingredients)

  • Boiling Water or Stock
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced
  • Olive Oil for sauteing
  • 2 cups Orzo Pasta
  • Pinch of Salt Pepper
  • Basil, Italian Seasonings and Thyme
  • Nutritional Yeast (optional)

  • Start by sauteing your onions with the olive oil until softened. Then add in your minced garlic and continually stir.
  • Add in more olive oil if necessary, then add in your orzo and coat in the oil for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in about a cup of boiling liquid and continually stir. Add in your pumpkin and allow it to bubble. Add more liquid as needed and cook until the pasta is tender or al dente.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.


  1. I think it is great that you make an effort to use everything-whether or not you need to for financial reasons! There is so much food wasted in the world so it a noble thing not to be wasteful.

    1. Aaw, thanks Ellen - I really appreciate your comments! They're always so bright and positive!

  2. Risotto is one of my favourite comfort food dishes! Goes well with almost any vegetables lying unused in the fridge! I've never tried to make it with orzo though, I've always used risotto rice. I'll give the orzo risotto a try. :)


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