This brightly coloured dish of golden-orange pumpkin, red onion and white rice makes a substantial supper for four or a classic Italian starter for six.
- 450g pumpkin or squash
- 1 large red onion
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 850ml vegetable stock
- 1 garlic clove
- 350g dry arborio rice
- A pinch of saffron
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Slice the skin from the pumpkin and discard the seeds. Cut into 2cm chunks. Peel and finely slice the onion and toss in the lemon juice. Transfer both vegetables to a saucepan and pour over 275ml stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until just tender. Turn off the heat and keep covered.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic and place in a saucepan with the rice and 275ml stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the stock has evaporated.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining stock until just about to boil, and reduce the heat to maintain the temperature. Add the saffron and seasoning to the rice mixture and add a ladleful of stock; cook gently, stirring until absorbed.
- Continue ladling in the stock until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is thick, creamy and tender. Keep the heat moderate. This will take 20-25 minutes.
- Drain the pumpkin and red onion and stir gently into the rice. Heat through for 2 minutes.
- Ladle into warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle with black pepper and parsley to serve.
Tip: If you like blue cheese, a little Stilton crumbled on top just before serving tastes wonderful!
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