Pumpkin risotto with crispy sage
One of my favourites – simple, yet stylish, pumpkin risotto with crispy sage takes no time to cook.
For the pumpkin risotto
570ml/1 pint vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, chopped
12 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
170g/6oz arborio (risotto) rice
250g/9oz pumpkin or butternut squash, diced small
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the crispy sage
12-16 fresh sage leaves
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Piece fresh parmesan, or vegetarian parmesan-style grating cheese
Heat the stock until almost boiling and then keep over a very low heat. In a separate heavy-based saucepan sweat the onion in the oil until soft but not browned. Add the chopped sage and cook for a couple more minutes.
Add the rice and mix well for a few seconds to coat the grains with oil, then pour in one-third of the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until almost all the stock is absorbed. Add the pumpkin or squash and a little more stock, and continue to simmer gently until the stock is absorbed.
From then on add more stock a little at a time, until the pumpkin is soft and the rice nicely al dente. You may not need all the stock, but the texture should be loose and creamy.
When the risotto is almost ready, heat the sunflower oil in a small pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until crispy – it takes a matter of seconds.
Stir the butter into the risotto, and season well with salt and pepper. Divide into four servings and throw a few crispy sage leaves over each portion. Bring the cheese and a grater to the table for your guests to serve themselves.