Apple and Kabocha Risotto

apple, sage and kabocha risotto

Apple and kabocha risotto. Can you feel the Autumn season? Part one of our 2017 Halloween-inspired spooky recipes!

Sage and pumpkin is a classic combination of flavors. Then mascarpone gives some extra richness. Finally, roasted apple is the ingredient that gives some sweet and tart bits to the recipe. That mix of contrasting tastes and textures make the dish composition really exciting.

I used kabocha (Japanese squash) as a main ingredient since it was the only orange/yellow-ish gourd that I could easily find around where we live. Indeed, kabocha’s texture is slightly different and its flavor is usually sweeter than a typical pumpkin. Still, regular pumpkins are fine as well if you want to use them instead. Both can make a tasteful combination with the other ingredients from this recipe.

In order to prepare this kabocha risotto, some techniques from my (maybe famous?) mushroom risotto were used once again. For example, the apple and kabocha risotto was prepared with regular Japanese rice instead of Italian rice – but feel free to use risotto rice if it is easily available for you!


Ingredient list

  1. One cup of rice
  2. 500ml of chicken stock
  3. Half Onion, cut in small pieces
  4. 1 cup of white wine
  5. 100g of kabocha (Japanese squash)
  6. 50g of butter for the kabocha
  7. 6 sage leaves
  8. 2tbsp of mascarpone
  9. Half apple, de-cored and peeled
  10. 1tbsp of sugar
  11. Kabocha slices (optional)
  12. Roasted kabocha seeds (optional)
  13. Sage leaves

recipe step list grid

  1. Peel and cut the kabocha pieces into bite size cubes.
  2. Spread sugar over the apple pieces.
  3. Using a small pot, cook onion in olive oil until golden.
  4. Add a knob of butter, the sage leaves and cook the kabocha on medium heat until the center is soft.
  5. Reserve half of the kabocha and puree the other half with a fork.
  6. Add olive oil to a large frying pan.
  7. On a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil.
  8. Add the rice and stir constantly until the surface is toasted (it will become opaque white).
  9. Add white wine and mix it into the rice.
  10. After the alcohol evaporates, set the fire to low and add the stock.
  11. Mix occasionally, adding stock gradually until the rice is cooked (al dente). When the rice is done, turn off the heat.
  12. Add the mascarpone, the pureed pumpkin and mix well to combine.
  13. Add the whole cooked kabocha and lightly mix to combine.
  14. Garnish the plate with the roasted apple, a dollop of mascarpone, sage leaves and the pumpkin.
  15. Serve the dish.

Recipe tip list grid

I roasted some slices of kabocha for decoration. More or less 10 minutes in the oven together with the apples, until soft.

Sage leaves makes a pretty decoration but are quite bitter when served raw. Hence, I suggest leaving them out of the plate depending on whoever you will serve the dish.

You may add parmesan cheese for an extra flavor.


apple, sage and kabocha risotto closeup


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