Ingredients

  • 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • 75g (3 oz) (6 tbsp) Kerrygold Pure Irish Salted Butter
  • 800G (1 ¾lb) small pumpkin, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 4 tbsp finely shredded fresh sage
  • 1 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) (2 cups) risotto rice (carnaroli or Arborio)
  • about 2.25litres (4 pints) (9 cups) chicken or vegetable stock (from a stock cube is fine)
  • 50g (2 oz) (½ cup), finely grated, extra to garnish Kerrygold Extra Mature Cheddar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Deep-fried sage leaves, to garnish (optional)

Directions

They say the measure of a chef can be determined by a mastery of the fundamentals. Like risotto. A wonderful crowd pleaser, once the technique is perfected, you are free to experiment with other flavours like the almighty butternut squash. Invest in a good quality sauté pan that distributes the heat evenly and you will fall in love with this simple but satisfying dish.
  1. Heat a large, heavy-based sauté pan with 25g (1oz) (2 tbsp) of the butter. Add the pumpkin with the sage and mix well to combine. Season to taste and cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is cooked through but still holding its shape. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add 25g (1oz) (2 tbsp) of the butter to the pan and then tip in the onion and garlic. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Turn up the heat, stir in the rice and cook gently for 1 minute. Keep stirring until the rice is opaque and perfumed.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the stock into a separate saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add a full ladle of stock to the rice mixture and cook gently, stirring until fully absorbed. Continue to add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently. Allow each scoop of stock to absorb almost completely before adding the next ladleful, until the rice is ‘al dente’ - Italian for tender with a slight bite. In theory this should take 18 minutes but will depend on the type of rice you use.
  4. Gently fold the cooked pumpkin and sage into the risotto with the rest of the butter, the cheese and chives, then season to taste. Leave to rest and swell naturally for 3 minutes. During this time warm some big wide-rimmed bowls in the oven.
  5. To serve, ladle the pumpkin and sage risotto into the warmed bowls and scatter with a little extra cheese and freshly ground pepper. For the finishing touch, garnish with the deep-fried sage leaves.

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