By Jarrod Agosta, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist

Jarrod’s take: “During Winter I love preparing and eating risotto as it’s so delicious and comforting. It’s not as difficult to make as some people think , it just requires a little more love and care during the cooking process. It’s so versatile too and you can include a wide range of ingredients!”

Serves 2

What you will need:

1kg butternut pumpkin (or any pumpkin variety)

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

1 litre salt-reduced chicken stock / plant-based chicken style stock

½ white onion (diced)

2 cloves of garlic or 2 teaspoons minced garlic

100g spinach

30g Parmesan cheese / plant-based parmesan such as Bio Cheese Parmesano

100ml white wine (check the label if you are vegetarian)

Salt reduced margarine

How to prepare Pumpkin puree:

  1. Cut pumpkin into 1cm cubes with the skin removed.
  2. Add to a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of salt-reduced margarine and set on low heat with the lid on. 
  3. As the pumpkin begins to cook and soften, gently mash the contents by carefully pressing down to combine the ingredients.
  4. Continue to do this until the pumpkin becomes combined into a semi-smooth puree. 
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.


How to prepare Risotto:

  1. In a different saucepan, add stock and bring to a boil. Once boiled, keep stock handy on top of the stove with a lid on it to keep warm. 
  2. In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of salt-reduced margarine and set to low heat. 
  3. As margarine begins to melt, add onion and garlic to the pan. Gently sautee onion and garlic until it begins to brown.
  4. Add arborio rice to the middle of the pan and then add white wine around the edge of the pan.
  5. Allow wine to simmer softly and then begin to add the stock, one cupful at a time.
  6. As the liquid gradually reduces, continue to add cupfuls of stock ensuring that the rice remains submerged in liquid the entire time. Do this until all the stock has been used.
  7. Add the pumpkin puree to the frying pan and gently stir through so that the mixture combines well. 
  8. Add the spinach to the frying pan and do the same. 
  9. Add half the parmesan and do the same. 
  10. The risotto should now look creamy and sticky and this means that it is ready to serve. 
  11. Add a small amount of remaining parmesan to each bowl if desired.
  12. Enjoy!