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Spicy Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin, butternut and crown prince are all winter squash. Their flesh is firm, the skin is hard and they keep very well. They are all ideal for roasting or mashing to use as a pie-filling or stuffing for pasta. Summer squash (acorn, spaghetti and gem) have a more watery flesh with a softer skin, do not keep so well and are best for boiling or for soups. All squash are a good source of vitamin A. For a tasty snack, the seeds of a pumpkin can be washed, dried and mixed with oil and salt before roasting in a hot oven for 15 minutes.

Ingredients

1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red birds eye chilli, finely chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon
300g risotto rice
1 small pumpkin (approx 1kg), peeled and diced into 2cm pieces
100ml white wine
1 ltr hot vegetable stock
4 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1: Fry the onion in a wide pan for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the chilli and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute.

2: Add the rice and turn in the oil until all the grains are coated.

3: Stir in the pumpkin, add the wine and bring to the boil. Add the hot stock, 2 ladles at a time and allow to be absorbed by the rice before adding more. Stir frequently over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and all the stock is absorbed. The rice should still have a slight ‘bite’.

4: Mix in the Parmesan and seasoning, spoon into large bowls and serve immediately with extra grated Parmesan.

Alternatives

If you cannot get hold of pumpkin, you can use butternut squash in its place.

This pumpkin risotto is also delicious with the addition of fried crispy bacon pieces scattered over the top just before serving.