Pumpkin Risotto

For me, the test of well-cooked rice has always been fluffy, well-separated grains. I have steered clear of risottos for ever because the end result simply spelled failure as far as I was concerned - sticky sludge, whichever way you framed it. I still have trouble with the appearance of a risotto, but one of my rare attempts got such good feedback I am including it here. I still had to ask the family if it was ok - I wasn't sure - but sometimes working outside the comfort zone can be good for you. The large saucepan was scraped clean.

You will need

  • 500g Pumpkin, or Pumpkin and Kumara, diced at 1cm or thereabouts
  • 300g Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • To Taste: Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg or Mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon or Cassia
  • 1.5 cups short grain rice - arborio for preference
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 teaspoons powdered Maggi Vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan

Fry the onion in the oil in a heavy based saucepan. (I use a cast iron two handled pot that can transfer to the oven. If you don't have one, transfer the ingredients to a large ovenware lidded casserole dish for the last part.) After a couple of minutes, add the garlic.

When the onion is translucent, add the pumpkin and stir to coat well with the oil. Add rice, salt, pepper and spices.

Add four cups of boiling water and the vegetable stock and stir to combine. Place in a preheated oven at 180C (Note: Most risotto recipes would have you add the stock/water a little at a time, keeping the water level just above the rice, but this is how we do this one.)

Check every ten minutes, stirring each time, until liquid is almost absorbed. Add the half cup of white wine, stir again, and cook until there is no free liquid. (About 40 minutes altogether.)

Remove from oven and stir in the parmesan. Serve with a sharp salad of the kind that accompanies the mjeddrah.







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