Chef tutor Dominic Hirst from The Cooking School at Dean Clough shares this week’s recipe for pumpkin risotto. Find out more about the Cooking School and the courses it offers from

pumpkin display outside Garstang 's market hall
pumpkin display outside Garstang 's market hall

When you roast a pumpkin, it releases fantastic sweet flavours and paired with the sharpness of the parmesan cheese and the creamy risotto, this makes for a really satisfying meal. Serve with a simple side salad of rocket or some crunchy garlic bread.


500g pumpkin – peeled and

cut into bite-size chunks

1½ tablespoons olive oil

bunch sage – leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole

700ml vegetable stock

25g butter

½ onion – finely chopped

150g risotto rice (we use Arborio)

1 small glass white wine

50g Parmesan or vegetarian alternative – finely grated


- chopping board

- sharp knife

- measuring jug

- grater

- wooden spoon

- roasting tray

- ladle

How to make it

1. Before you make the risotto, heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Toss the pumpkin in 1 tablespoon oil together with the chopped sage. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 minutes until it is brown and soft.

2. While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the risotto. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 minutes until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.

3. Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.

4. At the same time, gently fry the whole sage leaves in a little oil until crisp, then set aside on kitchen paper. When the pumpkin is cooked, mash half of it to a rough puree and leave half whole. When the risotto is just done, stir through the puree, then add the cheese and butter and leave to rest for a few minutes. Serve the risotto scattered with whole chunks of pumpkin and the crisp sage leaves.