Kabocha Risotto

Kabocha Risotto with Sage, Seeds and Pancetta

As I was looking at my "to try" list I noticed that there were a few recipes with kabocha in them. Kabocha is a winter squash otherwise known as the Japanese pumpkin. It is sweet and it has the texture of a pumpkin. I though that I would do a kabocha theme for this weeks menu. At the top of the list was this recipe for a kabocha risotto topped with pancetta, sage and toasted pumpkin seeds. I wanted the risotto to both have the flavour of oven roasted kabocha puree and the texture of solid pieces of kabocha. I used half of the kabocha to make pumpkin puree and the other half I cut into bit sized pieces. This risotto was pretty good. The sweetness of the kabocha went surprisingly well in a risotto with parmigiano reggiano. For lunch today I had some of the leftover kabocha risotto with some leftover salami, which I fired, on top. Regular pumpkin or butternut squash would also work well here.

Kabocha Risotto with Fried Salami

Kabocha Risotto

Kabocha Risotto

  • 1 kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
  • 1 ounce pancetta
  • 1 handful sage leaves
  • 1 handful toasted pumpkin seeds
  1. Cut the kabocha in half and use one half to make pumpkin puree.
  2. Remove the skin from the other half of the kabocha and cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Heat the chicken stock in a pan and keep warm while making the risotto.
  4. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.
  5. Add the onions and saute until tender.
  6. Add the rice and saute until the rice becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  8. Add the kabocha puree and kabocha pieces.
  9. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the rice and stir until the rice absorbs it. Continue to do this until the rice is cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes. The kabocha pieces should be tender by now.
  10. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmigiano reggiano.
  11. Fry the pancetta in a pan.
  12. Add the sage ad fry until crispy.
  13. Remove from the heat and add the toasted pumpkin seeds.
  14. Serve the risotto topped with the pancetta, sage and pumpkin seeds.


Pille said...

Kevin - thank you for your WHB entry! Love the name of this particular squash - kabocha - sounds very powerful:) Lovely recipe, too - I've been thinking of making a pumpkin risotto myself recently..

Kalyn said...

I haven't had this type of squash, but it sound wonderful. Great idea to use the pumpkin seeds to garnish.

VegeYum said...

Yum! Your risotto looks perfect - nice and creamy. I have not heard of kabocha before, but I think there is something similar here in Australia....

Anh said...

I love Japanese pumpkin! And your risotto looks excellent. I really need to try it soon. I once had it at a restaurant and it was so poorly done! :( But I love the concept. home-made version should be much better!

katiez said...

Perfect risotto, Kevin! Love using both puree and chunks! Must remember to toast my pumpkin seeds!

Peter M said...

Good show...the pumpkin gives the risotto a saffron-like colour and I love the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Wow, it looks like everyone making now pumpkin dishes! :) I have one as well in my kitchen that is waiting to be in my soup :)


Jenn said...

I haven't never tried that type of squash but it sounds delicious...and I love the added pancetta.


Nora B. said...

Kevin, I just posted a recipe for kabocha! I also talked about pumpkin seeds, but the hulled variety. I think that i will edit it and link my post to yours because this risotto looks delicious!

Julie said...

At this moment, that looks like the bestest comfort food in the world. My local Safeway supermarket had kabocha, and I'd never had it, so I just simply steamed it. I'll have to pick up another one to try this!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

What a lovely variation from butternut risotto. I have to try this, Kevin. And I'm linking to it today in my Kabocha post.

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