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31 October 2014

Pumpkin Risotto

Photo: © childsdesign
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What do you do with your Halloween pumpkin once the candle’s gone out? Stop! Don’t throw it away! You could actually eat it by making a delicious meal rather than just binning the once scary, but now sad squash.

Not that we want to come over all ‘preachy’, but think of the time and effort the farmer put into growing it. If your pumpkin really is inedible then make sure it goes into the compost.

This recipe can be made with a number of different types of squash – butternut squash is ideal – so once the frightening festivities are over, it makes a meal suitable for any time.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
  • 1 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 300g ripe pumpkin, cut into small cubes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 170g risotto rice (arborio)
  • 500 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g parmesan, grated (or similar vegetarian alternative)

For the topping

Method
Heat the oil in a pan and add the pumpkin cubes. Cook for about 5 minutes until it has softened.

Set aside a quarter of the pumpkin and put the rest into a blender while still hot. Blend until the pumpkin becomes a smooth mixture and set aside.

Heat a little more oil in a large heavy saucepan and add the onion, cook until the raw smell disappears. Be careful not to let them burn – you just want them to be pale and translucent.

Tip in the rice, fry gently, whilst stirring, so that the rice becomes completely coated.
Now add a little of the stock and on a gentle heat keep stirring the rice as it cooks to release its starch and give a creamy texture.
When the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add more stock. Continue to stir.
You will need to repeat this process until all the stock is used up. The risotto is done when the rice has increased in volume. It should have a lightly nutty bite to it and also be moist with a liquid creamy sauce.

Once the rice has cooked, pour in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pieces, stir and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in butter and parmesan.

Keep the risotto on a very low heat while you fry the sage leaves.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a small pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until crispy – it takes a matter of seconds.
Remove the leaves and drain on some kitchen paper.

Serve in bowls with the sages leaves scattered over and use a vegetable peeler to shave over the Parmesan.
Drizzle with a little white truffle oil if you wish.

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