JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A really good squash risotto

Finally, a pumpkin risotto to please Lucius, who doesn't like squash. Just as well, because I grew more pumpkins than ever this year, AND the veg box turns up one or two most weeks, so there's a bit of a pumpkin mountain in this house. If you don't much like the texture of pumpkin, which I think is the problem for many people, you can mash it into the rice. Lovely winter comfort food.

Making it is very simple, the usual risotto drill, using a lot of red wine, and adding baked pumpkin at the end.

Peel and chunk a pumpkin - mine was a lovely pale green one from the veg box. Roast in a hot oven for half an hour or so, until they begin to brown at the edges.

Gently fry some chopped onion in olive oil. Just as they are about to brown, add a little garlic. Add risotto rice, stir for a few moments, then bubble up a glass of red wine - put about twice what you'd normally use. Slowly add stock (I used a very rich pheasant stock flavoured with cloves, which almost certainly contributed to the success). When it's almost done, add the pumpkin, and some finely chopped rosemary (sage would be a good alternative here). You'll almost certainly need to add a little more stock, because this risotto is better for being pretty liquid. Stir in a little finely grated parmesan.

I planned to serve it with a little pesto-y mess made with the roasted pumpkin seeds, but they were too tough to eat, so we ate it unadorned. Next time.

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