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This time of the year is associated to the pumpkin.
Who can resist a smile when confronted by the crooked grin of a pumpkin-headed scarecrow? When people think of pumpkins, they always think of jack-o-lanterns at Hallowe’en, tasty roasted pumpkin seeds and maybe even Charlie Brown; me? well I think about pumpkin risotto.

  • 600ml stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (2 tsp dried one)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 170g arborio rice
  • 250g pumpkin diced small
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese or Grana-Padano cheese, grated

In a heavy-based saucepan sweat the onion in 2 Tbsp butter until soft but not browned. Add the rice and mix well for a few seconds to coat the grains with fat, then add the pumpkin, pour in four ladles boiling stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook until almost all the stock is absorbed. Ladle in a little more stock, and continue to simmer gently until the stock is absorbed. Add the spices, but the thyme. From then on ladle more stock a little at a time, until the pumpkin is soft and the rice nicely al dente. When the risotto is almost ready (the texture should be loose and creamy) stir the remaining butter into the risotto, add the thyme, squash some of the pumpkin cubes; season well with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle grated cheese over, if desired.

Serves 4