Risottos never do what they should colour-wise for me. I tried making one with red wine once and instead of the rice, deep garnet colour I dreamed it would turn out as, it was a rather dull, washed out grey, like a very old, over-washed pair of y-fronts. This one was supposed to be a bright, bold purple colour (I mean beetroot turns everything else purple, my fingers, my kitchen counter, my chopping board), why not a risotto? But no, the colour just faded to a slightly washed out greige (yes of course it’s a word, please get with the times). Still the taste was good. Maybe I’ll try some squid ink next time, surely that can’t go wrong?
Oh and if you’re wondering at the reemergence of pumpkin-related recipes here in mid-January, as part of a January spring clean I’m trying to clear out my freezer, so October’s bags of prepared pumpkin are slowly being attacked. I’m hopeful I’ll be done with the lot by April…
Spicy pumpkin and beetroot risotto
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red chilli, chopped
200g risotto rice
750ml chicken stock
1 small roasted beetroot, chopped
150-200g pumpkin, cooked and chopped into 1-2″ cubes
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1. In a large saucepan heat a drizzle of oil. Add the onions, garlic and chilli and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the rice and stir for a few seconds so the grains are lightly coated in oil. Then pour in about half of the stock. Turn it up to a simmer and leave for 10 minutes or until almost all the stock has been absorbed.
3. Stir the risotto and add the pumpkin, beetroot and more stock. Add the stock more slowly now, stirring every few minutes or so, to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
4. After about 20 minutes the risotto should be nearly done. Taste and add salt as necessary, and more stock if required. Just before serving stir in 2 tablespoons of parmesan.
5. Once served in bowls, sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top, and serve piping hot.