Perfect for a vegetarian dinner party, this risotto can be made with any squash instead, so if pumpkins are not in season you can use what it’s available. It’s not only perfect for a Halloween dinner, but it’s delicious all year round too. It’s baked, so there is no need to stand over a hot stove stirring for half an hour unless you want to make it the traditional way (which is fine too). The crispy sage leaves and the caramelised pumpkin taste amazing together and I like it with a little dribble of balsamic reduction over the top as well.
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
12 sage leaves, chopped
12 sage leaves, fried till crispy
400g risotto rice
800g pumpkin peeled, cored and cubed
1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
40g of finely grated Parmesan
More Parmesan to grate on top
Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
Put the pumpkin cubes on a baking sheet with half the olive oil, salt and pepper and put into the oven.
Cook until brown and slightly crispy, about 25-30 minutes, toss them about halfway through.
Heat a large ovenproof saucepan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add the rest of the oil and the chopped onion and cook till soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the chopped sage leaves, the rice and stock. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
Season risotto with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the Parmesan and butter. Add the roasted pumpkin and sprinkle with more grated Parmesan and fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.
Lastly… tonight for a vegetarian dinner party I am serving this with sauté’d mushrooms on toasted slices of sourdough bread to start, followed by the risotto with a tomato salad with vinaigrette and my friend Greg is making the dessert.