Pumpkin carving season is upon us! We’ve been scouring Pinterest for weeks for inspiration and we’ve got some great ideas up our sleeves. But if we’re honest, the best bit about carving a pumpkin is the array of delicious recipes you can make with the insides. If you’re subscribed to The Pantry, you might remember we sent you some of our favourite recipes for leftover pumpkin last week, including this tasty risotto. It's warming and comforting, and just look at that colour - perfect for a grey day! And if you’re NOT signed up to The Pantry, whyever not?! Get yourselves over here, and make sure you don’t miss out on any further deliciousness!
pumpkin and pea risotto with toasted pumpkin seeds
risotto alla zucca e piselli
A pretty orange colour speckled with vivid green peas, this risotto is a delight to eat – the peas pop in your mouth and the seeds give crunch. Fresh peas in season are fantastic, but I am a fan of frozen peas and am never ashamed to use them.
125 g/1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
¼–½ teaspoon chilli/chili powder
about 1 litre/4 cups hot vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 large onion, finely chopped
500 g/1 lb. fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and finely diced
300 g/1½ cups risotto rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
200 g/1½ cups frozen peas, cooked and drained
75 g/¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put half the butter in a saucepan, melt until foaming, then add the pumpkin seeds. Stir over medium heat until the seeds begin to brown, then stir in the chilli/chili powder, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and keep them warm.
Put the stock in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer. Melt the remaining butter in a large, heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 10 minutes until soft, golden and translucent but not browned. Add the squash or pumpkin, and cook, stirring constantly over the heat for 15 minutes until it begins to soften and disintegrate. Mash the pumpkin in the pan with a potato masher. Stir in the rice to coat with the butter and mashed pumpkin. Cook for a couple of minutes to toast the grains.
Begin adding the stock, a large ladleful at a time, stirring gently until each ladle has almost been absorbed by the rice. The risotto should be kept at a bare simmer throughout cooking, so don’t let the rice dry out – add more stock as necessary. Continue until the rice is tender and creamy, but the grains still firm. (This should take 15–20 minutes depending on the type of rice used.)
Taste and season well with salt and pepper and stir in the mint, peas and all the Parmesan. Cover and let rest for a couple of minutes so the risotto can relax, then serve immediately, sprinkled with the pumpkin seeds.