Pumpkin and sage risotto
What to do with the insides of a carved pumpkin lantern? This delicious seasonal dish makes a perfect, simple dinner or warming first course for an autumn supper party. I garnish with deep-fried crispy sage leaves and a sprinkling of parmesan.
- Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene and rich in fibre too
- Winter squashes like pumpkins are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and healthy carbohydrates, releasing their sugars more slowly than, for instance, potatoes
- 1.5 litres well-flavoured vegetable stock
- 650g pumpkin, peeled & chopped
- 175ml dry white wine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 350g arborio risotto rice
- 50g grated Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian equivalent), plus extra for sprinkling
- 6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (or 1tsp dried sage)
- 8 fresh sage leaves for garnish
- 20ml sunflower or corn oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Start by lightly frying the chopped onion in a large, deep frying pan using 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
- Place 400g of the chopped pumpkin pieces in a blender or food mixer with the white wine, and whizz to a purée. Stir the pumpkin purée into the chopped onion and cook for a few minutes, then add the rice and mix thoroughly. Pour in a little stock until it just covers the rice, and stir slowly while the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to add the stock a little at a time and stirring until the rice is cooked. Season well with the freshly chopped sage leaves (or 1 tsp dried sage), salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- During this time, place the remaining 200g of pumpkin pieces on a baking tray, coat with a tablespoonful of olive oil and place in a hot oven for 15 minutes to roast. Season well with salt and pepper, chop into chunks and stir into the risotto mixture together with the grated Parmesan.
- Before serving, use a small saucepan to heat the sunflower or corn oil to a high temperature, briefly drop in the sage leaves to deep fry, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a piece of kitchen towel. Use to garnish the dish, finishing with a final sprinkling of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot. Broccoli, including the purple sprouting variety, works well as an accompaniment.