Pennsylvania Pumpkin Risotto

This recipe comes to us from The Heirloom Farmer, a farm in Centre County that specializes in heirloom winter squash varieties. One of its best-selling items is its Heirloom Pie Pumpkin, which is grown from seeds passed down through founder Abbie Spackman’s family for over 100 years. Process and puree one of The Heirloom Farmers’ pumpkins, or another local pumpkin, to make this creamy, comforting risotto for dinner!

Pennsylvania Pumpkin Risotto

Serves 4-6

You can substitute the pumpkin with canned pumpkin puree.


  • 1/2 lb bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup heirloom pie pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup cooking white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 block (4 oz.) Kinfork cheddar cheese (or another local cheddar)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large cast iron skillet, or heavy bottom pan, cook the bacon over medium heat, until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, but leave the bacon fat in the pan.
  2. In a small sauce pan add the stock and pumpkin puree, bring to a low simmer and keep warm.
  3. Add the diced onion to the hot bacon fat in the skillet and saute until softened. Add the garlic and saute, careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. Stir in the rice and allow it to toast for about two minutes.
  5. Add the cooking wine and stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Start ladling the stock into the skillet, 1/2 a cup at a time. Stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. This process should take 20-25 min to add all the liquid.
  6. Add the butter and cheese. Stir until they have melted. Add the bacon, salt and pepper to taste and serve!
  • Photo and recipe: The Heirloom Farmer

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