In New Zealand we needed nutritious, warming food that I would be able to prepare in a hostel kitchen and which did not require any special ingredients.
When I came up with the idea of risotto, neither of us thought that we would end up liking it so much.
Because I prefer to err on the side of generousity, there were even leftovers for my lunch the next day. Most times. The risotto takes between half an hour and an hour to prepare and tastes just devine.
Pumpkin mushroom risotto
For 2 hungry persons
- approx. 200g of your choice of pumpkin (2-3 1cm thick slices)
- 8 button mushrooms or mushrooms of your choice (I use button mushrooms because they are easily available)
- Veg soup stock
- 1 cup of Arborio rice
- 1 garlic clove
- Half a (red) onion (yellow works as well) or 1-2 spring onions
- Oil of your choice
- 1l (or 4 cups) water (you can substitute some of the water with white wine)
- Salt & pepper, nutmeg to taste
Boil water and dissolve the veg stock (see directions on the package on how much you’ll need).
Cut the pumpkin into little cubes, the onion into even littler cubes and the mushrooms the way you like them best, chop the parsley.
Heat oil in a pot, add garlic and onion and sear. Before they get too brown, add the rice and stir vigorously to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Turn down the heat (to low). Add pumpkin, keep stirring, then slowly start to add the dissolved veg stock (and wine, if used). Only cover the vegetables & rice and let it simmer. Keep stirring. When the rice starts to stick to the bottom, add more liquid.
When you run out of liquid, the risotto should be ready to be eaten. If the consistency is still not right for you, keep adding water or wine. Keep stirring.
I normally stir in the mushrooms with the last half-cup of liquid and add the parsley just before serving.
Add salt and pepper to taste – and just a pinch of nutmeg -, then stir in the parsley and you’re ready to eat.
If you can’t finish it, risotto freezes well and makes a good lunch or dinner the next day or whenever you come across it in your freezer.