Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1kg wedge of pumpkin

  2. Olive oil

  3. pack of unsalted butter

  4. 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

  5. Sprig of thyme

  6. 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  7. 4 handfuls of risotto rice (about 50-60g per person)

  8. 1tbsp broken walnuts

  9. Up to 1 litre of hot chicken stock (it's okay to use a cube)

  10. A little fresh marjoram, leaves picked

  11. Salt and pepper

  12. 1tbsp grated Parmesan

  13. 1 head of red chicory, shredded finely

  14. 200g Gorgonzola cheese, broken into bite-sized pieces

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Remove the skin from the pumpkin and then cut the wedge in half. Dice both halves into rough 2cm cubes. Now put the dice from one half into a pan and cover with water. Simmer until tender, then drain off the water and puree the flesh with a liquidizer or a stick blender. This puree will be stirred into your risotto towards the end of the cooking, so put it in the fridge until required.

  2. The second lot of dice is also going to end up in the risotto. However, it's going to be pan-fried so that the outside caramelises. This will give the risotto a more complex flavour and is well worth the effort.

  3. Heat a frying pan and add a little olive oil. When the oil is nice and hot, add a little pumpkin and fry it until it has softened slightly and the flesh has a roasted appearance. This frying is best done in smaller batches and the pumpkin set aside to cool until needed.

  4. Start the risotto by putting two-thirds of the butter into a heavy-based saucepan to melt. Now add the onions, thyme and garlic. Stir them into the butter and allow them to soften, but prevent them from colouring by putting a lid on the pan and turning the heat to its lowest setting.

  5. Add the rice and let it cook for a couple of minutes in the butter with the onions, thyme and garlic.

  6. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and scatter the walnuts on to a baking tray. Roast the nuts for about 6 mins, in which time the flavour will develop and the texture will become quite crunchy.

  7. Add the stock to the rice a ladleful at a time and keep stirring as you do - this will cause the rice to release its starch, giving a good creamy consistency. The risotto will take about 30 mins to cook in the gently simmering stock.

  8. After about 20 mins, add your pre-made pumpkin purée, your fresh marjoram leaves and all of your roasted diced pumpkin. Season the risotto, add a little more stock and let it cook on for another 5-10 mins.

  9. Test a little rice - there should be a very slight 'bite' to it. At this point your risotto needs to be served, so remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter. Whilst the butter melts, sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese. These last two ingredients should give your risotto a wonderfully creamy texture. Spoon the risotto into bowls and scatter over the broken roasted walnuts, the shredded chicory and the Gorgonzola.


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