Pumpkin risotto recipe
6 Add the boiling stock to the rice, beginning with a ladle at a time, just covering the mixture. Keep stirring until the stock is absorbed.
7 Add the pumpkin flesh.
8 Gradually add the rest of the stock. Adjust the heat so the mixture slowly absorbs the stock, resulting in a creamy texture, with a slight bite to each grain.
9 Toast the sunflower seeds and the nuts. Add to the risotto.
10 Add a good bunch of chopped sage. Season with freshly milled pepper and salt. Drizzle with hazelnut oil, or, better still, pumpkin seed oil.
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For his latest best of Norfolk recipe, Richard Hughes makes a great favourite for early autumnal suppers.
4 Chop the flesh into chunks.
5 Add the rice to the softened onion mix. Cook for around two minutes, stirring, until all the rice is coated with the oil and butter.
A few years ago, the only thing that people were interested in when it came to pumpkins and squashes was how big they could grow them. Often taste and flavour were sacrificed in the pursuit of weight and circumference, and dark tails of sabotage before local shows and fetes was the stuff of a Miss Marple story line. Today, largely thanks to the influence of the likes of Locatelli, Oliver et al, these fantastic vegetables are being recognised for what they are; inexpensive, versatile and very easy to grow. Take a trip out along the Fens and the scene resembles a lunar landscape with all manner of colours, shapes and sizes. Stuart Melton, who runs the fantastic Knights Hill Farm Shop at King’s Lynn, is passionate about them. A past winner of the EDP Farm Shop of the year, he now grows literally thousands of them, supplying most of the major stores. They make the most beautiful, velvety soups and are terrific roasted with a leg of pork. You can, of course, even make the all-American favourite of pumpkin pie. A mainstay of the Italian diet is this pumpkin risotto, a great favourite for early autumnal suppers. Topped with fresh sage and toasted hazelnuts, it’s a real favourite of mine. On occasions, the more creative cook has been known to finish it with some crushed amoretti biscuits, which is one of those strange ideas; it shouldn’t work, but it does! This Halloween, don’t just hollow out your pumpkin and place it in the window, have it for your supper!
Step by Step with Richard Hughes: Clever Cooking in Simple Stages is priced �20 and is available from: www.thelavenderhouse.co.uk; the EDP head office at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE; Jarrold; Loose’s Cookshop; Waitrose; Borders; and most good bookshops.
Pumpkin Risotto Ingredients:
1 red onion1 leek1 clove of garlic50g butter 2 dessertspoons extra virgin olive oil200g Arborio rice600ml stock, preferably vegetable250g diced pumpkin flesh25g hazelnuts25g pumpkin seeds1 large bunch fresh sage
1 Finely chop the red onion, the washed leek and the garlic.
2 Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy pan, add the onion, leek and garlic, cook until softened.
3 Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin into wedges, remove the seeds and peel.