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Roasted pumpkin risotto with feta and baby spinach

It was time for risotto, and I had this beautiful pumpkin waiting to be roasted so the union was inevitable. I didn’t quite know what to team with the pumpkin, so I put a call out on my Facebook page. “Nut brown butter and crispy sage,” Marnee suggested. Okay then.

I love butter. I don’t believe there is such a thing as too much butter, the more the better. I know, I know, my arteries may not agree but for now it’s a vice I am not prepared to give up. Bubbling butter with sage thrown in? Heaven in a frying pan! Only problem was, out of 4 grocers I visited not one had sage. So although this idea will eat at me for days to come (once I think of something I want to cook I can’t let it go), I decided to make this pumpkin risotto with feta and baby spinach instead. Next time though, that sage is gonna a good decent frying to crispy perfection.

My sidebar has recently become home to, a delicious website created to showcase risotto recipes for a risotto-loving community. Being a fan of risotto, I find this site very informative. There are so many misconceptions about how to cook authentic risotto – should you add all the stock at once or in batches? Should you stir risotto while it’s cooking or leave it to cook on its own? Real Risotto answers all those questions.

Real Risotto is also hosting a competition, submit your favourite risotto recipe to be in the running to win some fabulous prizes.

Ingredients (serves 4):

2 tbsp good quality olive oil

2 cups pumpkin, peeled and diced into small cubes

1 medium brown onion, finely diced

2 cups vialone nano rice (or arborio)

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

100g parmesan cheese

50g butter

50g baby spinach

100g feta, cubed

Sea salt and pepper


Scatter pumpkin pieces on a baking tray, drizzle generously with olive oil and lashings of sea salt. Roast in preheated oven at 180C for about 15 minutes until tender but not too soft.

Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened and transparent.

Add rice to the pan and sauté until rice is heated through.

Add stock to pan, gently stir, cover, then allow to simmer over medium heat for about 12-14 minutes. I always thought risotto would stick the bottom of the pan if not continuously stirred, but according to the back of the vialone nano rice packet I used it states the rice will absorb the stock and will cook evenly without sticking. Thanks for the tip!

Add roasted pumpkin, stir, cover again and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

For the perfect risotto, the rice should be soft but slightly firm to the bite (‘al dente’), and not soggy or mushy.

Take off the heat, add parmesan, butter and baby spinach, stir well. Season with sea salt and pepper. Allow to sit to absorb all the delicious flavours. Finally, stir through feta and plate up.

And then, head over to Real Risotto and add your own recipe to win yourself an awesome prize!

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