A vibrant, golden yellow vegetarian risotto that looks good, tastes wonderful and is packed with healthy betacarotene and fibre. The mozzarella added right at the end melts into creamy goodness. Serve with a crisp green leaf salad.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup (200 g) risotto rice
500 g pumpkin or 1 small butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1 cm pieces
2 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
pinch of saffron threads
850 ml diluted salt-reduced or homemade vegetable stock (recipes on this website), hot
¾ cup (150 g) frozen corn kernels
125 g mozzarella cheese, diced
⅓ cup (50 g) pepitas
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Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook gently for 4–5 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the rice, pumpkin and sage leaves and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir the saffron into the hot stock, then pour about one-quarter of the stock into the pan and stir well until it has almost all been absorbed, stirring frequently.
Continue adding the stock, only a ladleful at a time, making sure each is almost completely absorbed before adding the next, and stirring frequently to produce a creamy texture.
With the last addition of stock, add the corn and stir well. Once all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender (this will take about 20 minutes), stir in the mozzarella cheese.
Season to taste, then cover the pan and allow to stand for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the risotto with the pepitas and serve at once.
2 portions vegetables
The secret of a good risotto lies in using the right rice — arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano — and a well-flavoured stock that should be added to the risotto gradually.
*In summer you can replace the pumpkin with zucchini. Cut into small pieces and add to the risotto with the corn in step 4 as it does not need a long cooking time. *For a greener version of this risotto, omit the saffron, sage and pumpkin and add 150 g chopped English spinach leaves and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves with the corn in step 4.