Risotto with pumpkin, spinach, cannellini beans and walnuts
In some parts of Italy, such as Venice, they prefer a slightly liquid risotto, where the rice ripples like a wave if the plate is tilted. In other parts of Italy the rice is cooked to a creamier consistency — and that’s the way we prefer it.
A few years ago we discovered that to get perfectly-textured risotto there’s no need to laboriously add stock little by little while constantly stirring. Instead we add all the stock at once, top the pot with a lid and let the combination of simmering and steaming do all the work for us. It’s a completely fool-proof way to cook risotto, and because you don’t have to stand around stirring, you can put your feet up and relax instead!
This week’s recipe is among our favorite no-stir risotto recipes. The sweet pumpkin, creamy cannellini beans, and crunchy walnuts perfectly accent the delicate spinach. And when the Parmesan and fresh basil are mixed in at the end of cooking, some of the edges of the pumpkin break off and disintegrate into the rice, adding a unique and heavenly texture.
And because this risotto includes an abundance of nutrient-rich vegetables, beans, and nuts it not only tastes really good, it’s also really good for you.
1 onion — finely chopped
2 cloves garlic — finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin or winter squash (cut into half inch cubes)
2 packed cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
½ cup canned cannellini beans — rinsed well and drained
¼ cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Variations: Use toasted pine nuts instead of the walnuts. Use chickpeas or fresh fava beans instead of the cannellini beans.