I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet! This risotto is so yummy and comforting now that it’s getting cold. I made this right after the NCLEX — the boards to become a registered nurse — and it was a welcome distraction. There’s something so therapeutic about making risotto with all the stirring and mixing. I had this idea for a pumpkin leek combination and something about it seemed like it needed some bacon. For a curve ball, I used a dry red wine (since that’s what I had), but I think it adds some depth of color to this fall dish. I should also admit I’m not sure if it made a true 7 or 8 cup batch between all my “tastings” oops. . . Here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Leek Risotto with Turkey Bacon to soothe your soul and warm you to your toes.
Ingredients (makes 7-8 c with 1 c servings).
- 1 T light olive oil
- 1 c leeks, sliced into halfmoons
- 1/2 t minced garlic
- 2-3 T fresh sage, finally chopped
- 2 c Arborio rice
- 1/2 c dry red wine
- 6-8 c vegetable stock
- 5 pieces uncured turkey bacon (nitrate free)
- 2 c baby spinach, finely chopped
- 1½ c pumpkin purée
- 1/3 c parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Pumpkin seeds to garnish
- In a large pot, sauté oil, garlic and leeks over medium heat until leeks are soft and separating. Add rice and stir constantly for about 2 min. Pour in wine and continue to stir. Add in sage.
- Heat stock in the microwave so it’s steaming. In 1-2 c increments, add hot vegetable broth to rice, again while stirring constantly over medium heat. Rice should barely simmer.
- Once the broth is absorbed, continue adding hot broth as needed and cook for about 30 min until the rice is cooked through barely al dente.
- Meanwhile, cook turkey bacon according to package directions. (I prefer to place slices between paper towels on a plate and microwave to absorb the grease.) Chop 4 slices into small bits, reserving 1 slice chopped to garnish. Stir in the 4 slices bacon bits.
- Add chopped spinach and mix until beginning to wilt. Stir in pumpkin purée. Season with salt to taste.
- Remove the pan from heat, stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Thoroughly mix in the cheese before serving.
- Top with extra freshly grated parmesan cheese, bacon pieces, and pumpkin seeds — whatever you please.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Adapted from my Vegetable Risotto. Also try Risotto with Shrimp, Parmesan and Peas.
Nutrition for 1 c of risotto.
340 calories • 3.6 g fat (10%) • 64 g carbs (80%) • 8 g protein (10%) • 3 g fiber • 6.7 g sugar
* These are estimates based off specific products I used and how I entered ingredients in a fitness tracker. This is completely subjective and used to give a rough nutritional estimate.