PUMPKIN & sage RISOTTO
Pumpkins keep for ages. In fact, they get better with age so it's easy to enjoy this deliciously creamy veggie option throughout the depths of winter.
INGREDIENTS (serves 8)
1 medium pumpkin (I used the potimarron variety)
1 large white onion
2 cloves of garlic
300ml white wine
1 litre of homemade stock (I used pheasant but you could use chicken)
300g parmesan cheese
Handful of fresh sage
2 tbsp creme fraiche
400g carnaroli or arborio risotto rice
Zest and juice of one lemon
Start by chopping the pumpkin in half and peeling the skin off with a decent knife (watch out - it will be quite tough). Cut the pumpkin into smallish cubes and roast in a little oil with plenty of salt and pepper at 200 degrees. It should take about half an hour, but keep an eye on it and turn it a couple of times. A fork should go through easily once it is cooked.
Whilst the pumpkin is roasting, chop the onion in to small chunks and gently fry in a couple of tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a deep saucepan. Add the two cloves of garlic, crushed, and fry gently for a few minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
Finely chop half the sage and add to the onion, followed immediately by the uncooked rice. Fry the rice in the oil for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly to make sure all the rice is coated in a little oil. Turn up the heat a bit and add the white wine all at once and cook for a couple of minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off. Continue to stir all the time making sure the rice doesn't stick - this risotto business is a labor of love! Slowly begin to add the stock a ladle at a time so the rice slowly absorbs the flavour. Once you've finished all the stock and the rice is almost cooked (don't over do it, you want it to have a bit of bite), stir in the lemon zest, juice and grated parmesan cheese.
The cheese will melt pretty instantly, so once it has take it off the heat and add the cooked pumpkin, the remainder of the chopped sage, plenty of salt and pepper. Finish by stirring in the creme fraiche just before serving.