The hardest part for me about deciding what to have for dinner most nights is the coming up with ideas part, so if you have the same troubles here is one of my recent favourites and my first foray into vegetarian cooking (I think it’s important to be able to cook in different ‘genres’).
Pumpkin and Pine Nut Risotto (Serves 4)
900g of pumpkin peeled and cut into roughly 1cm cubes (I love butternut pumpkin)
1 tbsp Honey (optional)
850mL vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp grated ginger
1 cup Arborio rice
160mL white wine
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp marscapone
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Toss pumpkin in olive oil and honey until just covered, then roast in a hot (220°C) oven until browned and caramelised (roughly 30 mins – I like mine extra caramelised so sometimes I leave them longer)
2. Boil stock in a saucepan, then keep it at a gentle simmer.
3. With a dab of butter or oil, sauté the onion over medium heat in a large pot until soft, then add the celery and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add the rice and cook for a further minute, until the rice is all coated, then add the wine and stir over a medium-low heat until the wine is all absorbed.
4. Add the stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Keep adding stock until the rice is cooked to your liking (you may need more or less stock depending on the heat, and how al denté you like your rice).
5. Add the pine nuts, parsley, marscapone, parmesan, and lemon juice to taste (I generally add 1tbsp, but it depends on your taste), and season with cracked black pepper.
6. If you are feeling fancy, serve with a dollop of marscapone, a drizzle of honey, and extra parsley.