About this recipe:Perfect for a special autumn dinner, this pumpkin risotto can be served right inside the pumpkin if you like. Rich, creamy and beautiful to bring to the table.
2 shallots, divided
1 carrot, divided
1 stick celery, divided
1/4 fresh fennel bulb
500g peeled pumpkin flesh
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, divided
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
350g risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
120ml sweet white wine
120ml full fat milk
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
40g grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:30min › Ready in:50min
Peel and roughly chop 1 shallot, 3/4 of the carrot, 3/4 of the celery stick and all of the fennel. Add to a saucepan with 1.5L of water and bring to the boil. Finely chop the remaining shallot, carrot and celery, and set aside.
Cut 2/3 of the pumpkin flesh into cubes. Thinly slice the remaining pumpkin.
Once the vegetable mixture starts boiling add half of the parsley, the cubed pumpkin and season lightly with salt. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 20 minutes. Strain vegetables and purée in a blender or food processor. Reserve the stock and keep it warm.
In a large pan add the reserved chopped vegetables and 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat, then add rice and toast for 1 minute. Turn up the heat, pour in the wine and simmer till the alcohol has evaporated and the wine is mostly absorbed by the rice.
Add pureed vegetables and a few ladlefuls of hot stock; stir and cook until the stock has been absorbed. Keep adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring after each addition and adding the next one only when the first is fully absorbed. The rice will take about 18 to 20 to cook fully.
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan and quickly saute the reserved sliced pumpkin till soft.
In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add butter, milk, lemon zest and rosemary to the risotto pan. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and divide risotto in the plates, adding the pumpkin slices as decoration. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and the Parmesan. Serve.
To serve in the pumpkin
For an amazing presentation, perfect for a special autumn dinner, serve the risotto right in the pumpkin shell: Wash the pumpkin and cut off the top. Scoop out the flesh and seeds, leaving a 2cm thick skin. Rinse inside, then bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 15 minutes. When the risotto is ready, place it in the warm pumpkin, decorate with sauteed pumpkin slices, sprinkle with parsley and bring to the table.