Pumpkin, Spinach & Ġbejna Risotto

One of my favourite comfort foods ever is risotto, and luckily rice is naturally gluten-free so I can eat as much as I want to. My father grew a few pumpkins, so we had lots of them at home and decided to merge the two.

Ingredients: Serves 4
400g pumpkin
1 tablespoon ghee butter
1 diced onion
1 diced spring onion
300g carnaroli rice
60ml white wine
1l vegetable or chicken stock
200g spinach
50g grated Parmesan
6 chopped dried sheep milk ġbejniet
1 teaspoon dried sage
Fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper
Pumpkin seeds

Method:

Grate the pumpkin finely, and put it in a colander to reserve all the juice. Pumpkin is a very juicy fruit, and it would be a waste to throw away all the healthy syrup that comes out of it when grated.

While the pumpkin is in the colander, heat up the ghee and add the onion and spring onion, and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add the rice and toast for a few minutes. Make sure to keep mixing so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Stir in the wine and keep mixing until it is absorbed. Once it is absorbed, mix the pumpkin juice with the hot stock, make sure you have 1l in all, add the first 2 ladles of the mixed stock and pumpkin juice, and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Remember to mix from time to time.

Continue this process every time the stock is absorbed, until you have one ladleful left. Before adding this ladle, add the grated pumpkin and spinach, and add the last ladle. Continue mixing to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.

As soon as you see that the liquid will be fully absorbed, add the Parmesan, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix well. Turn the heat off and add the chopped ġbejniet and pumpkin seeds.

Serve hot, and garnish with fresh rosemary.

Author: Marilu Vella