Stuffed baby pumpkins

Stuffed baby pumpkins

If you can find – or grow – some mini pumpkins (I was given some called ‘Hooligan' last year; they were total thugs in the veg patch, but prolific and sweet and just the right size for this recipe). They look so pretty baked and filled with risotto, perfect for an autumnal supper.

Serves 4

  • Allow 1 little pumpkin per person, plus another to chop up and put in the risotto
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsps vegetable or olive oil
  • 200g arborio risotto rice
  • 175ml dry white wine
  • Approx 700ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • A large handful of chopped, flat-leaved parsley
  1. Bake the mini pumpkins whole in a moderate oven for approx. 40 mins, until the flesh inside is soft, but the pumpkin retains its shape and colour.
  2. Meanwhile make the risotto – gently sauté the onions until soft, add the rice, stir and cook gently for a couple of minutes then add the wine, stirring until the rice has nearly absorbed it.
  3. Then add the stock and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until the rice is soft enough. Add more liquid if necessary (until the risotto's the right consistency). Add the Parmesan and parsley and combine.
  4. Remove the pumpkins from the oven, chop up the least attractive and add it to the risotto. Slice the tops off the rest and scoop out the seeds inside.
  5. Stuff each pumpkin with risotto, put the ‘lids' back on and serve with any of the leftover risotto. The skins of these mini pumpkins shouldn't be too tough to eat, so depending on your preference, use them as bowls, or eat the lot.

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  • Photographs David Merewether
  • Words and recipes Jo Arnell