Bacon Salt Recipe: Smoky Pumpkin Risotto with Pinenuts

When pumpkin on its own doesn’t do it for you this Halloween, adding some Bacon Salt or Baconnaise can help. Here is a seasonal recipe that is scary good.

Pumpkin and Bacon Salt Risotto

  • 1-2 lb pumpkin, with seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • About 15 sage leaves, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 14oz risotto rice
  • 2 cups white wine
  • Approx 3 1/2 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 Tbsp Bacon Salt
  • 1/3 cup pinenuts
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the pumpkin into 1 1/4in wedges and place in a roasting tray. With a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic, a glug of olive oil, half the sage, a pinch of Bacon Salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the mixture over the pumpkin with your hands, then roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes until softened and becoming golden in color.

Once the pumpkin has cooled, scrape the soft flesh away from the skin into a bowl. Lightly mash with a fork, leaving it fairly chunky. Scrape any residue left in the roasting tray into the bowl and keep warm while making the risotto.

Heat 2tbsp olive oil and a tbsp of butter in a heavy frying pan or sauté pan. Gently fry the onion until softened. Add the rice and stir for a minute, until coated with oil and butter. Add the wine and stir until it has cooked into the rice. Add a good ladle of hot stock and the rest of the sage, and 3/4 of the Bacon Salt. Keep adding stock, and keep stirring to stop the rice sticking.

After about 18-20 minutes the rice should be soft with a bit of bite, and the risotto should be creamy. Add stock to get the right consistency. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the pumpkin, Parmesan, the remaining two knobs of butter and Bacon Salt. Cover for a couple of minutes to give it an even creamier texture. The final texture should be fairly moist and creamy, much more so than regular rice, which gives it a smooth and savory texture.

Toast the pinenuts in a toaster or with a small amount of butter in a pan until they are golden. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and scatter on the pinenuts, a sprinkling of Bacon Salt and extra Parmesan.