Monday, 4 September 2017


Risotto has always been one of my favourite recipes, although I rarely have it in a restaurant unless it is a very smart one, as it is easy to get wrong. Before I learnt to cook, my sister would very kindly make me risottos of all different combinations depending on what was in the fridge. My favourite would always be mushroom, bacon and lots of cheese however as my daughter Arabella is mushroom-phobic, we rarely have them. 

Last week I found this recipe in the Sunday Times magazine however it used pumpkin rather than butternut squash. I couldn't find pumpkin in the shops so I substituted it for squash and it worked very well. Risottos are simple but time confusing and this took about 40 minutes.

Ingredients for 4 people:

450g pumpkin or squash, skinned, deseeded and cut into small pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
50g butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300ml dry white wine
300g risotto rice
200g chorizo, finely chopped
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 litre hot stock
100g Parmesan, grated

Chop all the ingredients in preparation and make up the stock.

Bring a large pan of boiling water to the boil, add the pumpkin / squash and cook for around 6 minutes until it begins to soften. I did about 7 minutes. I forgot to cut my pieces so just did it after they were cooked.

In a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat, fry the celery and the onion in the olive oil and half the butter until it begins to soften. This took about 5 minutes. Next add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the rice and stir until it becomes opaque (a couple of minutes). Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol evaporates.

Add the chorizo and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the pumpkin / squash and stir in half of the rosemary leaves.

Now for the time consuming part! Add the stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly to give a creamy texture for about 15 minutes. This is good exercise for your arm! 

Season with salt and pepper, add the remaining rosemary and butter and about half the Parmesan. Cover and rest until creamy - we were all starving so only waited a few minutes! Serve with the remaining Parmesan and tuck in.

The combination of the rosemary, squash and chorizo is powerful but it works very well. It is a perfect meal for this autumnal weather that is starting to appear. My husband, daughter and I all loved this and will be fighting over the leftovers. I am definitely keen to try this again with pumpkin - I reckon around Halloween will be the perfect time when we are trying to decide what to do with all the leftover pumpkin!!

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