There are two ways to make risotto: the time-honored, hand-stirred way or with a pressure cooker. For years, my friend Ann Bloomstrand has cooked many meals for me. The most memorable is her risotto. She was the first one to teach me that you can make risotto in a pressure cooker. Try her quick method and have dinner on the table in no time.
Servings: Serves 6
  • 1 small (1 3/4 pounds) pumpkin , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth , as needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic , finely chopped
  • 2 cups rice for risotto, such as Arborioa
  • 1 cup dry white wine , such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese , plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • Directions
     Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 400°F.

    Spread the pumpkin on a baking sheet and toss with one tablespoon of the oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

    Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the stove.

    Melt the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or flameproof casserole. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until it turns from translucent to opaque (do not brown), about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

    Stir the hot broth into the rice, one cup at a time. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the rice absorbs almost all of the broth, about 3 minutes. Stir in another cup of broth, and stir until it is almost absorbed. Repeat, keeping the risotto at a steady simmer and adding more broth as it is absorbed, until you use all the broth and the rice is barely tender, about 20 minutes total. If you run out of broth and the rice isn't tender, use hot water. Add the pumpkin and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

    Serve immediately, spooned into bowls and sprinkled with the sage. Pass a bowl of Parmesan cheese on the side.

    Recommended variation: Roast the pumpkin as directed. In a 5- to 7-quart pressure cooker or a 3-quart shallow pressure cooker (sometimes called a risotto cooker), heat the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it turns opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the unheated broth and the wine. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure. Cook for 7 minutes. Release the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions or place the pot under cold water. Carefully open the lid, being careful of the steam. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the sage.


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