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Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops

Teri & Jenny
5 from 31 votes
Servings 6


pumpkin risotto

  • 1 ¼ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground clove
  • ¼ cup hot vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

seared scallops

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more, if needed)
  • 18 large scallops, cleaned
  • salt and pepper to taste

confetti candied pancetta

  • ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, micro diced really small
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar


  • For the risotto: Stir together the first six ingredients for the risotto into a small pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and pour into a blender with the broth, season with salt and pepper and blend.
  • With the motor running, add ¼ cup of butter into the blender, 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  • Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and warm over low heat.
  • Place a large pan over medium heat and melt the remaining butter and olive oil.
  • Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and sauté for 3 to 5 minute or until each grain of rice is coated in oil and there is a white dot in the center of each grain.
  • Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time, stirring frequently.
  • Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.
  • Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente, 20-25 minutes.
  • Stir in the pumpkin puree until completely combined.
  • Stir in the mascarpone and parmesan until smooth. Fold in the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  • For the scallops: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.
  • Season each scallop with salt and pepper.
  • Sear the scallops, in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • For the candied confetti pancetta:: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.
  • Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until the fat has rendered off and the pancetta has become crispy.
  • Drain all but 2 teaspoons of grease from the pan and return to the stove, over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle both sugars over the pancetta and stir until the sugar melts and had coated the pancetta.
  • Spread the candied confetti-pancetta onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool and slightly harden.
  • To assemble: Fill six bowls with risotto and top each with three scallops; finish each bowl with a sprinkle of pancetta. Serve immediately.
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