Rice dishes are so great for energy and risotto is a classic. A really easy dish, risotto is quite peaceful to make. Whether your by yourself or cooking for a dinner party, risotto is another mainstay that will keep you and your flatmates happy!
We find ourselves meditating to an almost zen-like state while we make this dish, which makes the cooking time fly by……it’s all in the stirring! Serves: 4 people
- Knife & cutting board
- Baking dish (sheet), metal spoon
- 2 medium saucepans
- wooden spoon or ladle
- 1 pumpkin (butternut squash), about 1 kg (2 lb)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
- salt & pepper
- 4 cups (32 fl oz) vegetable stock
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup (7 oz) Arborio rice ( Italian rice for risotto)
- 1 wedge Parmesan cheese, for gratingAdd one ladle of the stock to the rice – that hiss is a famous part of the risotto making, indicating that the rice is absorbing the flavor and will plump up beautifully.
“Hot tip! : Put some risotto on a plate and tip it at an angle to test the consistency. If it moves slowly across the plate like a lava flow, it is perfect!”
How to make it:
- Preheat oven to 200C° (400 F). Peel pumpkin and scoop out seeds.
- Dice pumpkin into 3 cm (1 ¼ inch) cubes and coat with some olive oil, sprigs of thyme and salt & pepper by tossing in a bowl.
- Place pumpkin on a baking dish (sheet) and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until tender and slightly carmelised/golden. Keep warm by covering with aluminum foil.
- Heat up the stock in a saucepan and keep on a low flame.
- Sautee together the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent and slightly sizzling.
- Put the Arborio rice in the saucepan and stir rapidly to coat with the olive oil. Keep stirring so that the grains so glossy and almost seem to stick to the saucepan.
- Add one ladle of the stock to the rice – that hiss is a famous part of the risotto making, indicating that the rice is absorbing the flavor and will plump up beautifully.
- Stir gently but with purpose! Continue to ladle stock in bit by bit, as it is absorbed. At about the 20 minute mark, add the diced pumpkin and stir through.
- Test the rice – if it is soft but still a bit firm, add more warm stock, or water if needed.
Grate or shave the Parmesan and add in to the mix. Adjust the seasonings, adding more liquid if necessary. A risotto should be moist, not dry.