Risotto is one of those deceptively easy dishes, and with Halloween just around the corner, it’s likely that there’ll be many leftover pumpkins hanging around. This is the perfect autumn recipe to use up your Halloween decoration and demonstrate some cooking skill.
Those who have never cooked a risotto before often perceive it to be a difficult dish, however, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s actually not too hard. For those on student budgets, it’s a very versatile dish as you can add any veggies, meat or fish from your fridge. Once you have tried it, it is sure to become one of your staple weeknight dinners; great when cooking for hungry housemates who will be impressed with this tasty dish.
– 1 small pumpkin, peeled and diced
– 1 small onion
– 1 clove of garlic, crushed
– Half a red chilli (optional)
– chopped pancetta, lardons
– 200g risotto rice (about 50g per person)
– 1 glass of white wine
– 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock
– handful of parmesan cheese (any cheese of your choice)
To start with, cut up the pumpkin into bite size pieces and place in the oven to roast for about fifteen minutes. While this is cooking you can start the risotto. Dice an onion and fry it off on a medium heat in a shallow pan with some butter, pancetta, garlic, and a little chilli if you like a bit of spice. Once they are softened, but not brown, stir the risotto rice to coat in the mix. Next, add a glass of wine (if you have any around) and bring to a gentle simmer. In a jug measure one litre of stock and add half a cup at a time into the pan, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more each time the stock is absorbed. Do this until the rice is cooked; I like mine al dente, cooked through with a little bite. It takes about twenty minutes and most of the stock will have been used. At this point, pop in the roasted pumpkin and you can throw in any additional veggies; I like to add spinach, rocket or peas, and stir through a good handful of parmesan cheese. Serve with a good grind of pepper to finish and voila – one sophisticated pumpkin risotto.