2020ActivityautumncookingCreativityfamilyFood, Health, Nutritionpumpkin

Smashing Pumpkins

I had planned a beautifully photographed, step-by-step recipe, but I’m afraid life happened and I had to make and photograph whilst I had two tired and hungry little ladies (and let’s face it, they weren’t afraid to be vocal about their feelings either!).  I didn’t feel I could hang around and wait another week to try again as I already can’t find any pumpkins in the supermarkets so am already having to substitute with squash (which is fine but slightly defeats the object).  Maybe the authentic recipe will have to be for the North American readers amongst you in the run-up to Thanksgiving.  I think in GB pumpkins are literally in the shops for October and that is it.  And like the rest of 2020, October disappeared before I blinked.

So today I am going to share with you a little experiment in the kitchen based on the traditional autumn flavours of pumpkins and pecans. 

Pumpkin Risotto

Risotto is a good family meal, but I used to find it so time-consuming adding the stock bit by bit and I could never get the consistency right.  Until I came across the baked risotto.  I’ve never looked back.  Nine times out of ten the consistency is perfect and there is no faff.  It has become a super easy meal.  These quantities serve two adults and a Poppi (who eats like a small adult).


1 pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes

A few sprigs of rosemary and thyme

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

220g risotto rice

100ml white wine

700ml vegetable stock

20g Parmesan

Handful of pecan nuts

A good blob of butter and a good glug of maple syrup

(NB: As an annoying IBS sufferer, I substitute the onion for celery/fennel and use a teaspoon of asafoetida instead of garlic)


  1. Roast the pumpkin with the rosemary and thyme at 180 C for 40-50 minutes until soft and starting to crisp at the edges
  2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to an ovenproof pan.  When hot add the onion and lower the temperature.  Allow the onion to soften for 10 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and fry lightly
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat in the flavour
  5. Add the wine and leave to simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed
  6. Add all of the stock
  7. Cover and place in your preheated oven for 15 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven, stir and add half of the roasted pumpkin.  Return to the oven (covered) for a further 10 minutes
  9. Meanwhile, put the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the pecans and fry until coated in buttery goodness.  Pop the maple syrup in the pan and continue to fry lightly until most of the syrup has been absorbed or evaporated (you want to keep some of the sauce and be careful it doesn’t burn)
  10. Remove the risotto from the oven.  Stir in the parmesan and the rest of the squash.  Cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes
  11. Serve with the pecans sprinkled on top
  12. Enjoy