Pan Macmillan Australia
Photography by Jeremy Simons.
“Oozy is not a word you would normally associate with a risotto made without butter or cheese. The secret here is caramelised roasted pumpkin that is pureed to add a smooth, creamy texture and delicate sweetness to the risotto. Earthy, floral saffron compliments the pumpkin’s sweetness and produces a sunny, golden risotto. Ensure you use a short-grain high-starch rice, such as arborio or carnaroli, for that signature creamy texture.” p90
400 g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1.5 cm cubes
80 ml (1⁄3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
875 ml (3 1⁄2 cups) warm Vegetable Stock (page 207)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
275 g (1 1⁄4 cups) arborio or carnaroli rice
pinch of saron threads
125 ml (1⁄2 cup) white wine
crispy sage leaves, to serve (optional) (see Note)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced).
Place 250 g of the pumpkin in a roasting tin, drizzle in half the olive oil, add a pinch of salt and toss well. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through to ensure even browning. Transfer the pumpkin to a food processor, add 80 ml (1⁄3 cup) of the stock and puree. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium–low heat. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the remaining pumpkin, the rice and saffron and gently stir for a minute to toast the rice grains. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring to release any caramelised
bits caught on the base, and simmer for a minute so the rice absorbs the wine. Add a few ladles of the remaining stock and bring to a gentle simmer. When the stock has been absorbed, add more to the pan, a few ladles at a time. Continue, gradually adding more stock as it is absorbed, and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is al dente. In the last 2 minutes of simmering, gently fold in the pumpkin puree.
Remove the pan from the heat and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as required. Ladle the risotto into shallow bowls and serve with crispy sage leaves scattered over the top, if desired.
Crispy sage leaves: fry a handful of sage leaves in 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt.