Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences


Now that the weather is starting to get cooler and the nights longer, it was time to shift our weekly menu and try some fall recipes. Since this is the month of Halloween and there will probably be some pumpkin carving going on, I decided to try out a recipe for Pumpkin Risotto from Rowley Leigh’s column in the Financial Times Weekend.

Risotto is not difficult to do but you do have to set aside the 20 or so minutes you will need to stir the rice and add the hot stock so do this when you have some free time. The risotto was creamy and the pumpkin;s sweetness was offset by the lemony sage butter and the salty Parmesan. This recipe makes enough for six so we had some leftover which I’ll shape into small patties and pan-fry in olive oil to make risotto cakes served with sauteed sea bass for dinner tonight.

Pumpkin risotto with sage

(taken from Rowley Leigh’s FT Weekend column on September 28, 2007)

  • 500g pumpkin
  • 450g Arborio rice
  • 1 onion
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 6 leaves of fresh sage
  • 100g butter
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 60g fresh grated Parmesan
  • Peel the pumpkin with a sharp knife and cut it into pieces of absolutely no more than half a centimetre.
  • Peel and chop the onion equally finely.
  • Put the stock in a pot and bring gently to the boil.
  • Put half the butter in a heavy saucepan and stew the onion gently.
  • After five minutes, add the pumpkin and the rice together with a generous pinch of salt.
  • Turn this mixture on a gentle heat until it starts to stick to the pan before adding the white wine.
  • As soon as this is absorbed, start to add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, stirring the risotto as you do so. Continue, adding a little more stock every three minutes or so. The pumpkin will start to render its juice, which will help to moisten and flavour the risotto.
    • Roll the sage leaves into a little cigar and slice them as finely as possible.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan and stew the sage very gently for a couple of minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, plenty of milled black pepper and a pinch of salt and then remove from the heat.
  • Continue the risotto until the rice is cooked, still slightly nutty to the bite.
  • Pour in the sage butter and check the seasoning.
  • Stir in a little more hot stock if necessary to make the risotto slightly sloppy and serve forthwith with plenty of Parmesan.
  • Serves six

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