Orange zest gives a delightful twist to this creamy risotto that's packed full of roast vegetable goodness.
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) butternut or Kent pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) chunks
- 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1.25 litres (42 fl oz/5 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
- 75 g (2¾ oz) butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 330 g (11 ½ oz/1 ½ cups) arborio rice
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) dry white wine
- large handful of baby English spinach leaves
- 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) pine nuts or crushed walnuts
- small handful of sage leaves
- 2 tsp orange zest
- finely grated parmesan, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F (fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Put the pumpkin in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine. Place on the lined baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden.
3. Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Turn off the heat.
In a large shallow saucepan or deep frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and a third of the butter. Cook the onion over low heat for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme sprigs and rice, stirring to coat the rice in the oil.
4. Stir in the wine. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring until the stock has been almost absorbed. Keep adding the stock gradually, cooking over low heat.
5. Stir in the pumpkin with the last addition of stock, mashing it lightly as you stir. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems, discarding the bay leaf, and stripping the leaves off the thyme and adding them back into the risotto. Stir the spinach through.
6. Melt the remaining butter in a separate frying pan over medium heat. Allow it to foam, then add the pine nuts and sage, swirling the pan as the butter and nuts become golden and start to smell nutty, and the sage becomes a little crispy. Add the orange zest, swirling to heat it through, then immediately pour the butter mixture over the risotto.
7. Season to taste and serve sprinkled with plenty of grated parmesan.
This recipe is from Low & Slow (Smith Street Books).