Italian pumpkin and spinach risotto


  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  •  ½ medium sized pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1 cm cubes (about 350 g/ 12 oz)
  • 325 g (12 oz) risotto rice (e.g. arborio or carnaroli risotto)
  • 1 ltr (1¾ pt) hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • 125 g (4 oz) baby leaf spinach
  • 125g (4 oz) Frico Old Dutch Master, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crusty bread to serve


  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the oil, then stir in the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onion has softened.
  2. Stir in the pumpkin and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until starting to brown. Add 60 ml (4 tbsp) of the stock, cover the pan and cook the vegetables for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Then stir in the hot stock, in small amounts, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Stir in the cheese and season well with black pepper and salt. If more liquid is required, stir in hot water. The risotto is ready when the pumpkin and rice grains are tender.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach. Cover and allow it to wilt with the heat from the risotto. Serve immediately with extra grated
    cheese, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.