“Rice is born in water and must die in wine.” - Italian Proverb
We have had a real Autumn day in Melbourne today. The temperature barely managed to climb up to 17˚C, but the wind around made it feel more like 14˚C. We had some sunshine, but mainly a cloudy day, which led to quite a bit of rain in the afternoon. Apparently there was a light dusting of snow up in the mountains also. When I got home this evening it was quite dismal and I was glad the lights and the heater were on. There was also a delicious smell of pumpkin roasting in the oven! The dish we had was perfect for the weather…
900g pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
900ml vegetable stock
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, very finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
2 threads of saffron
2/3 cup white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
1/2 tsp ground dried sage leaves
2 tbsps grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.Put the pumpkin cubes in an even layer on a large baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then remove and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, tossing well to coat each piece. Roast for a further 15 minutes until cooked and golden.
- Place stock in a saucepan and keep at a simmer over low heat.
- Heat another two tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based pan over low heat. Add onion and stir for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add celery and cook for 1 minute, then add rice and cook for a further minute, stirring to coat the grains with oil. Increase heat to medium-low, add the wine and cook until absorbed.
- Add stock a ladleful at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add the saffron and stir well. Add lemon juice, pumpkin and parsley.
- Season, then stir in parmesan.Serve with shavings of parmesan, a dusting of sage powder and extra parsley.