This week you will love my recipe for roasted pumpkin and chorizo risotto. It has a taste of the Mediterranean along with a taste of the Irish autumn. If you are anything like me then autumn is your favourite time of the year! I just can’t stop baking and cooking delicious autumnal offerings from fruit, vegetables and autumn spices. When I pass a pumpkin in the supermarket without buying it then I know there’s something wrong. Which probably explains the 4 pumpkins sitting in my vegetable rack waiting to be eaten!
Halloween may be over but pumpkin season certainly isn’t! So many people are scared to cook with pumpkin. There are hundreds of fabulous meals you can conjure up in the kitchen using pumpkin. And I can promise you this won’t be the last pumpkin recipe I will be sharing! This is the comfort food to beat all comfort foods, especially with the weather we’ve been having in Ireland recently! And the best thing about this recipe for roasted pumpkin and chorizo risotto is it is so easy to make. Which makes it a perfect midweek supper or a lazy weekend dinner. So go ahead, keep buying your pumpkins and enjoy this culinary season!
Best pumpkin variety for risotto
You can use any pumpkin variety but my all time favourite pumpkin is the crown prince. It has a pale green to grey outer hard skin so when you cut it you don’t expect to see the bright vibrant orange flesh. That’s not the best part though. Once cooked, it has a distinct flavour and texture. It is sweet and dense with an almost velvety texture. The crown prince (ooh I love that name!) holds its shape when roasted but melts in the mouth when eaten. It is also delicious mashed which is why I use half roasted and half mashed in this recipe.
I would steer clear of the carving pumpkin as it can be very watery when cooked and if the crown prince variety is not available then use butternut squash. You can find the crown prince in some supermarkets although your best bet is to go to your local farmers market like I did in October and November.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A once digested. The brighter the colour the higher the concentration. As a result it is highly antioxidant, containing nutrients to help build immunity against illnesses. Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin C and B1 and is high in dietary fibre, excellent for digestion.
This roasted pumpkin and chorizo risotto is so easy to make. I roast the pumpkin and mash half of it to add to the rice when cooking. This imparts a smoky pumpkin flavour to the risotto along with the Mediterranean ingredients of smoky paprika, saffron strands and chorizo.The white wine and parmesan intensifies the flavour to give way to a highly satisfying Autumn comfort meal. Topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and oregano it will keep you coming back for more!
If you like this then you will love my recipe for roasted stuffed butternut squash filled with freaked and more flavours of the Mediterranean.
- 1 whole medium pumpkin, approx 2.5kg or 700g diced peeled fresh pumpkin
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 200g fresh chorizo
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 500g risotto rice
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- 200ml white wine
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- 1 handful fresh chopped parsley and sage, mixed
- 50g parmesan, grated
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180℃/350℉. Prepare the pumpkin by cutting it into quarters, remove the seeds (reserve for roasting) and remove the skin with a sharp knife. Cut into bite sized pieces. Toss the pumpkin in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Reserve half of the diced pumpkin for serving. Mash the remaining pumpkin with a potato masher and reserve.
Chop the onion and garlic and add to a saucepan with the olive oil. Cover and sweat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft.
Peel and chop the chorizo into bite sized pieces. Add to the pan along with the paprika, cinnamon and cloves. Stir on a low heat for 5 minutes to impart the flavours.
Add the rice and stir for one minute to coat with the oil and spices.
Add the white wine and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until al dente, topping up with extra stock if it starts to evaporate. Add the mashed pumpkin and a little extra stock and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the grated parmesan and fresh parsley and sage. Stir for one minute. Taste and season to your liking.
Serve on a plate and top with the diced roasted pumpkin, toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprinkling of chopped sage.
Butternut squash may also be used in this recipe.
Instead of buying pumpkin seeds, use the reserved seeds from the pumpkin and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
If using a whole pumpkin, slice the top off and scoop out as many seeds as you can. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 35 minutes or until soft. Scoop out the remaining seeds and the pumpkin flesh and dice. Once the risotto is cooked you can use the empty pumpkin for serving.