Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Mushroom Sage Risotto - Two Ways

Once I learned how to make risotto in a pressure cooker, I never looked back. Sorry, but I don't feel any guilt abandoning the "Italian Grandmother's method" of ladling in a cup of hot stock and stirring and stirring until absorbed before ladling in more. With the pressure cooker, you dump in all of the liquid, snap on the lid and let pressure do its magic. 

This version is deliciously rich and creamy without a lot of added fat or cholesterol. The trick is to use pumpkin puree! Canned or fresh are both fine. If using canned, make sure it's "100% pure" pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling which will include cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices.

If you want to use fresh pumpkin puree, make sure you use the right kind of pumpkin/squash. Stay away from the big jack-o'-lantern carving pumpkins. Instead, use flavorful varieties such as Sugar Pie, Cinderella or Cheese pumpkins, and butternut squash. To make the puree, follow the easy instructions here; no need to peel!

You can add the pumpkin puree before or after pressure cooking. If added before, the pumpkin cooks down and basically becomes part of the creamy sauce (see photo below). If added after, the pumpkin retains a bit of its shape and you'll see more distinct streaks of pumpkin running thru the risotto (see photo at top of post). 

Likewise, you have some options with the mushrooms. Roast them separately and add them as a topper or cook them right with the risotto. Either way, all ways, it'll taste delicious!

Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Mushroom Sage Risotto - Two Ways
Serves 4 as a meal or 6-8 as a side

Measure out and set aside:
1 cup pumpkin puree - canned OR fresh, cooked
(If using fresh, drain thru a strainer placed over a 4-cup capacity Pyrex measuring glass, reserving the "juice".)

Measure out and set aside:
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock OR add enough stock to reserved pumpkin "juice" to total 3 cups

To roast mushrooms, preheat oven to 400°. In a large mixing bowl, toss to coat evenly:
8 oz oyster mushrooms, cleaned and separated into small, uniform-size pieces
couple glugs of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly into one layer. Roast in oven anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the mushroom piece size and how crispy you like it. Give it a little stir halfway thru. Keep an eye on it towards the end as it can quickly go from perfect to burnt. Remove from oven when done to your liking; transfer mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

In a 4-5 qt pressure cooker, heat:
1 tablespoon olive oil

Add and saute for 1 minute:

1 cup finely diced shallots or onions
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced (omit if using roasted mushrooms)

Add and saute until rice is coated in oil, and garlic is fragrant:
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice

Add and stir to evenly distribute:

reserved pumpkin puree (or wait to add after pressure cooking)
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp salt, or to taste

Pour into pressure cooker the reserved 3 cups of stock (or combination of stock and pumpkin juice). Bring to a boil. Cover with lid and bring to the first red line. Reduce heat to maintain at the first red line. Cook for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and release pressure using the cold water release method. 

Stir into risotto:

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
reserved pumpkin puree, if you didn't add it earlier

If adding pumpkin at this point, you may need to put the risotto back on the burner and warm it up a bit depending on the pumpkin temperature.

Offer additional grated Parmesan cheese at the table, along with:
grind of black pepper

roasted mushrooms

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