A crispy, indulgent alternative to risotto
You could make a double quantity of this risotto, eating some fresh and keeping the leftovers for this cake the next day. Be sure to follow the correct guidelines for storing cooked rice by refrigerating the risotto quickly.
3 pints of ham stock
2 onions, finely diced
50g unsalted butter
300g pumpkin, skinned and chopped
300g risotto rice
100g parmesan cheese, freshly grated (and the rind)
1 glass of dry white wine
A large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
A small handful of sage, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
Place the stock over a medium flame to keep hot. Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pan and fry the onion gently until soft but not coloured.
Stir in the pumpkin, rice and the rind of the parmesan (in one piece, you’ll remove it later). Coat with all the buttery juices for a couple of mins.
Tip in the wine and then add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, stirring continuously (a square ended wooden spoon will stop anything sticking). Only add more when the last ladle of stock is absorbed.
After 15-20 mins the rice will be cooked, but still have a slightly firm centre. It’s a question of sampling a grain or two. You may not require all the stock, or if you’re short a little water from the kettle will do fine.
Add the herbs, taste and season with salt and black pepper and remove the parmesan rind. The risotto should be quite fluid (this is the point to serve it as fresh risotto). It will continue to cook and set as it cools. Once the rice has cooled a little you can add the beaten eggs and grated parmesan.
To make the risotto cake, take a small frying pan with a heat proof handle and heat up 1 tbsp of oil, swirl it around the pan and then add the risotto, pressing it into a cake.
Fry over a medium heat for about 10 mins and then place under a medium grill to set and brown the top. Turn out the cake onto a plate and enjoy hot with salads or even a few slithers of ham.
Recipe: Jenny Chandler