Pumpkin & cinnamon risotto
We had risotto for dinner last night – this beautiful pumpkin and cinnamon risotto. I started with a recipe from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers River Cafe Cook Book Green * and made a couple of tweaks. I’ve been quite intrigued by this recipe for a while and after my recent experiment with chermoula risotto, I decided to give it a go.
The combination of cinnamon, chilli and oregano gives the risotto a beautiful, rich flavour. It’s not super-hot, with the chilli and cinnamon combining to give just a slight warmth.
Cook’s confession time – while I’m sure the best risottos are made by stirring the rice and stock constantly, I rarely do that – my stirring tends to be much more sporadic. Each time I add stock, I let it cook for a couple of minutes before stirring. I suspect this is risotto heresy, but to be honest I find the results are still really good, without you having to be chained to the stovetop.
Pumpkin & cinnamon risotto
- 900g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 dried chilli
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into three
- 200g arborio rice
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- 4 tablespoons ricotta
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Toss the pumpkin together with half the oregano and half the olive oil. Season with salt and paper, then place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned.
In the meantime, heat the other half of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onions and garlic, stir, turn the heat down to low and place the lid on top. Leave the onions to gently sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat the stock in another pan and keep warm.
Add the rest of the oregano, the chilli and the cinnamon stick and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat each grain with the oil. until the rice grains become opaque (about 2 – 3 minutes).
Start adding the stock, about a quarter of a cup at a time. Add the first amount and then cook until that liquid is absorbed, stirring sporadically. Once this is done, add another quarter cup of stock and continue cooking and stirring until it’s absorbed. Continue doing this until the rice is cooked (this will take about 20 minutes). Fish out the cinnamon stick pieces and then add in the pumpkin and stir through, slightly mashing as you do so. Finally, add the spinach leaves, stir through and serve immediately topped with the ricotta.
Nutrition information per serve:
Total kilojoules: 2885kJ; Protein: 23g; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated fat: 4.5g; Carbohydrate: 113g; Fibre: 10g; Sodium: 452mg (without adding any extra salt); Number of vegetable serves towards daily total: 4 serve; Additional nutrients: potassium, beta-carotene, calcium antioxidants.
- Gray R & Rogers R, River Cafe Cook Book Green , Ebury Press, London 2000.