Pumpkin Gorgonzola Risotto is the perfect blend of flavors for a creamy and delicious risotto!
I love just about all cheeses but if I had to pick one as my favorite it would be Gorgonzola. Gorgonzola has a long history dating back to around 880 A.D. Its exact origin isn’t certain and there are many theories but it’s clear that it was created near the town of Gorgonzola, which is near Milan. It seems that while someone, probably a shepherd or a local cheese maker, was making another cheese it was inadvertently left out overnight. The following day a new batch of cheese was placed in the same container with the previous day’s cheese. Unbeknownst to the cheese maker it was contaminated with penicillin, the fundamental ingredient needed to make Gorgonzola.
The resulting flavor was so fabulous that cheesemakers began reproducing Gorgonzola cheese. In 1970 a Gorgonzola cheese consortium was formed and the cheese eventually achieved DOP status in 1996.
The production areas for Gorgonzola cheese are near the town where it was originally produced and throughout the Lombardy and Piedmont regions. There are about 40 producers ranging from small family-run cheese producers to large companies. You’ll recognize Gorgonzola cheese because it has characteristic silver and blue tinfoil wrapped around it with the letters CG. The metal wrapping also serves to keep the cheese moist.
Gorgonzola cheese is made from pasteurized cow milk. The milk is brought up to a temperature of 30°C and as it cooks penicillin spores, rennet and enzymes are added to the mix. After the cheese has coagulated whey is drained from the cheese and it’s made into wheels. After another few hours metal rods are inserted into the flat side of the cheese, and then the other flat side of the cheese, to allow air to permeate the cheese. This allows the penicillin glaucuum to grow and form Gorgonzola’s characteristic blue-green veins.
There are two types of Gorgonzola cheese: Gorgonzola piccante (spicy) and Gorgonzola dolce (sweet); the difference lies in the taste and the maturation time of the penicillin cultures. Both varieties have DOP status. Gorgonzola dolce has no sugar or sweetener in it whatsoever, just as Gorgonzola piccante has no additional ingredient to make it spicy. Gorgonzola dolce is soft and creamy; it’s aged from 2 to 3 months. Gorgonzola piccante is aged from 3 to 6 months and is a harder, crumbly cheese. It has a 48% fat content.
I love Gorgonzola cheese because of its rich, creamy, pungent flavor with underlying sweet tones. Gorgonzola ice cream is delicious. Gorgonzola cheese is wonderful served on crackers as an appetizer or used in pasta and risotto dishes.
I decided to give Pumpkin Gorgonzola Risotto a try to see how well those flavors blended and it didn’t disappoint. I added the Gorgonzola at the very end during the risotto’s rest period in place of the usual butter, a soft cheese and Parmesan.
Pumpkin Gorgonzola Risotto
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
One medium onion, finely minced
290 g pumpkin, peeled and seeded, cut into small cubes.
Mince enough rosemary to yield 1 teaspoon and reserve the rest for a garnish.
Sauté the minced onion in the olive oil.
Once the onion is translucent and tender add the diced pumpkin.
Cook 10 minutes over a low flame.
Add the minced rosemary to the pumpkin and cook an additional two minutes.
In a separate pan toast the rice over a medium to high flame for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Deglaze the rice with the white wine and immediately transfer it to the pumpkin mixture.
Gradually add the broth a ladleful at a time.
Cook until the rice is al dente, or according to package instructions.
Cut the Gorgonzola into cubes.
Add the Gorgonzola to the rice and stir until well amalgamated.
Cover the rice, remove from the stove, and let sit for a minute.
Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Place the Pumpkin Gorgonzola Risotto in serving bowls and top with a sprig of rosemary.
Please note that the below printable recipe can be viewed in metric or U.S. conventional measurements; just click on your preference within the recipe.
Pumpkin Gorgonzola Risotto
- Mince enough rosemary to yield 1 teaspoon and reserve the rest for a garnish.
- Sauté the minced onion in the olive oil.
- Once the onion is translucent and tender add the diced pumpkin.
- Cook 10 minutes over a low flame.
- Add the minced rosemary to the pumpkin and cook an additional two minutes.
- In a separate pan toast the rice over a medium to high flame for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Deglaze the rice with the white wine and immediately transfer it to the pumpkin mixture.
- Gradually add the broth a ladleful at a time.
- Cook until the rice is al dente, or according to package instructions.
- Cut the Gorgonzola into cubes.
- Add the Gorgonzola to the rice and stir until well amalgamated.
- Cover the rice, remove from the stove, and let sit for a minute.
- Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Place the rice in serving bowls and top with a sprig of rosemary.
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