This vegan pumpkin risotto is not just tasty, it’s also very easy to make. Served with some grated vegan cheese, it’s a great plant-based dinner option.
Pairing pumpkin with risotto rice is not a new idea. In Northern Italy pumpkin risotto is a traditional dish, called risotto alla zucca. This dish started life as food for the poor, because pumpkins were only grown and eaten by farmers. Besides pumpkin and the standard components of risotto, it contains very little in the way of spices. Because my version contains ginger, cayenne pepper, cumin and turmeric I decided to not to call it risotto alla zucca.
I know that turmeric is currently a fashionable super food, capable of curing a whole range of conditions. We, at the Tiny Dutch Kitchen, tend to be a bit skeptical about these sorts of claims however. Many foodstuffs have been proclaimed to be miracle cures for just about everything. When you actually start researching these claims though, you will invariably find that either there is no proof whatsoever or you need to eat unrealistic amounts of the stuff to get any real benefits.
This is why we say: we do tasty, not healthy.
The reason I used turmeric in this recipe is because I wanted a strong taste to cut through the sweetness of the pumpkin. Turmeric is quite bitter, so it forms a nice contrast. The cayenne provides a bit of heat and the cumin seeds give a nice deep taste.
The original Italian pumpkin risotto doesn’t contain any meat and I decided to keep it that way. We’re not vegetarian (and certainly not vegan). But we do believe that it’s a good idea to eat meat in moderation. Besides, if food is as flavorsome as this risotto, there’s no need to add it “just because”.
This recipe uses pumpkin purée. If you don’t know how to make this, simply use our recipe.