This is a hearty vegetarian risotto that is perfect comfort food for our chilly Autumn days and as we head into Winter.
I had a beautiful Crown Prince pumpkin (the one with a grey outer colour and deep orange flesh) and have reached the conclusion that I prefer it to butternut as it seems to me to have a little more flavour. I love to roast it in a splash of chilli oil to offset the caramel sweet character it starts to take on.
In this recipe I have used a Gorgonzola style blue cheese to give it a nice salty creaminess, and chopped fresh thyme for its earthy flavour.
What you will need to make for 2. Double up the ingredients if you want to make it for 4.
- 2 shallots finely chopped, or half an onion
- 200g Arborio / risotto rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 liter of stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 1/2 tsp of chopped thyme
- about 1 cup of roasted pumpkin cut into small cubes
- 50 – 80g of blue cheese
- toasted pine nuts (about 50g)
- splash of olive oil to roast the pumpkin in – or chilli oil, and a splash for the risotto
Pre heat your oven to 200 C and toss the cubed pumpkin in the olive oil or chilli oil and roast for 20 – 25 minutes until the edges just start to caramelise.
In a heavy based pot, heat a splash of olive oil and fry the onion / shallot until it starts to soften. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and allow the liquid to evapourate. Start adding your hot stock ladle by ladle, stirring it until most of the liquid has been absorbs. I add the roasted pumpkin and thyme about half way through the cooking process so that some of it integrates into the risotto turning it a lovely pale orange colour. When the risotto is al dente and there is still a nice amount of sauce remove from the heat. Stir through half the blue cheese so that it melts in. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if it needs. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and toasted pine kernels over the top to serve.
PS – I think chopped up crispy bacon scattered over the top would also be lovely