• 1 1/4cups arborio rice
  • 250grams pumpkin, cubed(about 3/4 cup pumpkin purée)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/4cup parmesan cheese (plus extra to serve)
  • 1/4tsp saffron threads
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • A few thyme leaves (optional)
  • A small knob of butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pumpkin seeds, to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (360 F). Toss the pumpkin pieces with olive oil and lay them out in an even layer on a baking tray. Roast until they soften, about 30-40 minutes.
  2. Once slightly cooled, add the roasted pumpkin to a blender and purée until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Pour the stock into a saucepan and stir in the saffron. Let the stock simmer on a low heat while you get on with the rice.
  4. Heat butter in a large pot and sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Tip in the rice and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Toss in the thyme leaves along with white wine, and cook until the wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add ½ cup of stock and stir constantly until it’s been absorbed. Continue adding stock ½ cup at a time, stirring all the while, until the rice is tender but with a bite to it. It usually takes about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Stir in the pumpkin purée and parmesan, and season with salt and lots of black pepper. (Note: take it off the heat when it’s still slightly runny. It thickens within seconds once it’s off the heat, so it will be the perfect consistency when you serve up. If it’s too dry, stir in some stock or water to loosen out).
  7. Ladle into bowls and top with grated parmesan and a few pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.