Saturday, 3 October 2009

Pumpkin Risotto

The Mock Turtle rsvp'd to my halloween invitation by means of bringing over half a pumpkin. So I made risotto for lunch! This is how it went:

You will need:
half a medium pumpkin
handful of sage leaves
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 bay leaf
largish wedge of butter
1 large onion
1 level tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
175g of risotto (arborio) rice
1 pint vegetable stock
salt and pepper
a good amount of parmesan cheese

What you do:
Heat the oven to 200 degrees c . Cut the pumpkin into wedges, remove the seeds and pithy part and put in a roasting dish. Pour a little ground nut oil into the hollows where the seeds were and rub over the flesh with your fingers. Tear a few of the sage leaves and scatter over the pumpkin, split the bay leaf and lay it on top then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the hot oven for about 30 minutes until the edges have turned brown and crispy. *

When the pumpkin has cooked remove it from the oven and let it cool for a bit, then chop it into big chunks (about 1 to 1 and a half inches, any smaller and the pumpkin will disintegrate too much, and the risotto has a nice texture if it is chunky) removing the skin as you go. Meanwhile, chop the onion quite finely and melt a generous amount of butter in a large saucepan. Fry the onion gently until just brown, then add all the spices, and the rest of the sage leaves torn into pieces, fry gently. Then tip the chopped pumpkin in and stir well. Add another good dollop of butter at this point so the rice can get coated in it, then tip the rice in and stir till it's all coated in buttery spices.  Add the vegetable stock, stir again, then season to taste. Cook gently on a low heat, stirring regularly until the water has been absorbed and the rice is al dente. Add lots of parmesan shavings just before serving, serves 2 greedy people or four not so greedy people. YUM.

* I sewed on horses legs while I waited for this stage, but that's an entirely different post, and you can do whatever you like.

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