Careful readers will have noticed that the pumpkin gets a lot of airtime at Fidget and the Rowes. Why? Well, the Rowes’ extended family have been blessed with a bumper crop of the crusty old orange vegetable this year. So, if you don’t like pumpkins, look away now, but if you do…
Risotto with sausage and pumpkin
For this you will need: 150g risotto rice (Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, Arborio), 200g pumpkin (peeled, de-seeded, cut in 1cm cubes), 3 good sausages, 1 shallot, 1 clove garlic, 2tbsp olive oil, ½ small glass of white wine, about 1 litre stock (only use what you need), knob of butter, parmesan to taste, and 3tbsp double cream or béchamel sauce (optional). To stir, a wooden spoon is highly recommended.
Start by slicing the shallot very thin and frying it gently in the olive oil with the garlic. When softened, remove the garlic and add the sausage meat (in small pieces – take the skin off first) and cook for a couple of minutes; then add the pumpkin and gently fry together for a minute or two. Meanwhile, keep the stock on the heat nearby and add one ladle to your rice pan. Mix well so that the sausages and pumpkin start coming together. Add the rice and stir; then the white wine and stir again. With risotto you just can’t leave it, even for a moment: you have to stir continuously and add stock a little at a time – just enough to prevent the rice sticking to the pan but not ‘stewing’.
Continue cooking your risotto by adding one small ladle of hot stock at a time and stirring. It should take 18–20min for your risotto to cook, but you’ll need to taste often towards the end: you want your rice to be cooked but still retain some ’bite’ on the inside of the grain. Towards the end of the cooking time be ready with your double cream or béchamel (if using), your knob of butter and the grated parmesan: turn the heat off and mix them into the rice until incorporated. Serve at once.