Pop on your ugg boots, pull out your favourite blanket and be prepared to get super cosy with the ultimate Autumn comfort dish. Packed full of creamy pumpkin, punchy Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon, there is no way you won’t fall in love with this risotto.
baby spinach leaves
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. To prepare the ingredients, peel the pumpkin and cut it into 1 cm cubes. Crumble the vegetable stock cube. Finely chop the red onion, bacon (fat removed), birdseye chilli (deseeded) and parsley. Peel and crush the garlic. Finely grate the Parmesan cheese. Wash the baby spinach.
Coat the pumpkin with half of the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Spread out the pumpkin evenly on a lined oven tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until soft and golden.
Place the vegetable stock cube and boiling water in a small saucepan over a low heat to keep it warm.
Add the remaining olive oil and butter to a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the red onion and the bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, birdseye chilli and arborio rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the grains are toasted. Stir to coat well. Tip: For extra heat add the birdseye chilli seeds.
Add 1 cup of the stock mixture to the pan and stir continuously until all of the liquid has absorbed. Continue this process of adding 1 cup of stock at a time until all of the stock has absorbed and the rice is ‘al dente’. Remove from the heat and stir through the Parmesan cheese, the baby spinach, half of the parsley, and the roasted pumpkin. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the risotto between bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley and extra Parmesan cheese.