We grew this little beauty. It seemed such a shame to cut it up that I just popped it in the oven at 200°c, gas mark 6 or near the bottom of the Aga’s roasting oven covered in olive oil and roasted it until tender. Because it is quite small it took only twenty five to thirty minutes to roast. Whilst it was roasting I made a risotto inspired by my recent fidget pie adventures using cider, sage, prosciutto, cream and a deliciously sweet apple from our tree. I stuffed as much of this risotto into the hollowed out pumpkin (removing the seeds but leaving the flesh intact) as I could and then roasted again for 15-20 minutes until bubbling.
It’s a wonderful celebration of autumn even if we are having a last fling with summer here in the UK this week. It’s a great dish to take whole to the table and let everyone dig out as much risotto and pumpkin flesh as they can.
This pumpkin served 2 hungry adults and 1 hungry child (and 1 child who said yuck – no surprise there though).
1 small to medium-sized pumpkin
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 small apple, cored and sliced thinly (you can leave the skin on)
3-4 slices of prosciutto (reserve 1 slice to place on top for the final roasting)
5-6 sage leaves, finely sliced
120g risotto rice
2 tbsp double cream
salt and pepper to taste
Place the whole pumpkin in a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a hot oven, 200°c, gas mark 6 or the roasting oven of the Aga until tender when a skewer is pushed through to the centre. How long this takes will depend on the size of the pumpkin. Mine took thirty minutes. Allow to cool a little and then slice off the top and scoop out the seeds. Place the hollow pumpkin back onto the roasting tray.
Make the risotto by frying the onion, garlic and sliced apple in the butter for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Heat the cider and water together in a pan and keep at barely simmering. Add the prosciutto and sage leaves to the onions and continue to fry for a minute or two. Add the rice and stir until all of the grains are coated in the butter. Add a ladleful of the cider and water mixture and stir the risotto continuously. Add another ladleful when the first has evaporated and continue in this manner until the rice is creamy and has only a tiny bit of resistance when you bite into it. Add one more ladleful of cider and water and cook for a minute or so and then add the double cream, stir through. Season to taste and then fill the pumpkin with this mixture and place the reserved prosciutto on top. Place back into the oven for 15-20 minutes until all is bubbling. Serve with crusty bread and parmesan grated over the top.