Do you like pumpkin? Why not try this pumpkin and pancetta risotto?

It is thought that pumpkins originated in South America, but they are now enjoyed throughout the world. The words pumpkin and squash are used interchangeably. They are high in vitamin A.

Pumpkin is a very versatile vegetable. Roast it, boil it, mash it. Add it to baking, curries and of course make it into soup. Cooked and cooled they are also good in a salad.

My favourite way to cook pumpkin by adding it to a risotto. Because I often find it hard to cut through the skin of pumpkin (which, did you know, you can eat once it is cooked) I normally roast the pumpkin first with lots of fresh herbs, remove the skin and add it part way through cooking the risotto.

Pumpkin and pancetta risotto

The other day I  needed a recipe that I could prepare ahead and needed little attention while cooking. I tried Donna Hay’s baked pumpkin and pancetta risotto from her fabulous No Time to Cook, p130. It was very tasty, and used only one pan.

Once you have mastered the basics of the risotto you can make any combination you like. You can add a variety of ingredients near the end of the cooking process eg: cooked chicken, spinach, cooked pumpkin, lemon juice and zest, salmon or white fish. The options are endless.

Want to try something other than risotto? Why not give this Healthy roast pumpkin a whirl.

Munch Mummy of three little boys

Pumpkin and pancetta risotto
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup (200g) risotto rice
  • 2.5 cups (625 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tablespoon sage leaves
  • 400g pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 6 thin slices pancetta, chopped
  • 25 g finely grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to season
  1. Pre-heat oven to 190C. In a large pot combine rice, stock, butter, sage, pumpkin and pancetta and cover tightly. Preferably with a lid, but you could use tinfoil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the rice is soft. Remove from oven and stir in parmesan, salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the risotto is creamy and stock has been absorbed.


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