This Smoky Chipotle Pumpkin-Sage Risotto is the ideal dish for fall. It’s full of fall flavors, warming spices and is of course incredibly delicious! It finally feels like fall where I live. It’s a little bit grey outside, I’ve dusted off my UGGS and the couch is adorned with cozy blankets.
All of this is an invitation for comfort foods. I know we all have our own ideas of what comfort foods are, and this risotto recipe epitomizes mine.
Imagine if you will, a spoonful of warmly spiced-smoky-sweet-creamy-aromatic rice. I’m telling you, between the combination of the flavors soaked into the rice and the luscious, rich texture, this is the ultimate bowl of comfort.
How about planning a night to partake in this deliciousness and invite a few friends over?
Don’t even set the table –instead think about lighting a fire, getting out the softest blankets you have and cozy up with your guests on the couch for a super casual, super comforting fall risotto dinner party. (And yes, you can call eating with guests on your couch a party.)
What’s your ideal comfort food? I explore the possibilities and the below pictured other comfort food recipes in my post, “What Makes a Comfort Food a Comfort Food?”
- 1 cup dry Vermouth
- 1 cup water
- 2 dried chipotle chile peppers
- about 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1½ cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour the Vermouth and water into a small sauce pot and bring it to a boil. Add the dried chipotle chile peppers, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1½ hours. Turn off the heat, keep the pot covered and let the peppers steep for at least 4 hours and ideally overnight. (Dried chipotles can be tough, so the longer the better.)
SAVING the liquid in the pot, use a slotted spoon to remove the peppers. Take off the stems and then slice them in half lengthwise. Use the back of a small knife or a teaspoon to gently scrape out the seeds and membranes. Now chop the peppers as finely as possible -- you should have about ⅓ cup. Set aside.
Pour the cooking liquid from the peppers and the stock into a large pot and turn the heat to low. Once it's warm, turn off the heat and keep it on the stove.
In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the sage and cloves and stir until it's very aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan and once it's melted, pour in the rice and stir. Cook for about 1 minute, being sure that all of the grains are coated with the butter and onion mixture.
Mix in the chopped re-hydrated chipotles, followed by about 1 cup of the warmed stock mixture and the pumpkin. Keeping the heat at medium-low, gently simmer the rice. With near-constant stirring, continue to add about 1 cup of the liquid as each previous cup is absorbed by the rice. You know you're ready to add the next cup when you use a spatula to make an open area in the pan, and no liquid seeps in. (You can see what this should look like here.)
As the rice absorbs more and more of the liquid, it will gradually become creamy. Keep adding the liquid until the rice is aldente. (This means "to the tooth." While the rice will be tender, there will still a bite to it.) When it's at this point, most, if not all, of the liquid will have been used.
Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and mix just to combine. Then add the lemon juice and season generously to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)