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A Halloween-night meal can be as simple you want it to be. A party for all ages without the pressure and headache of big name holidays. Since pumpkin can be served savoury or sweet, Halloween is the perfect time to add this seasonal squash to your menu.
Today the Independent reported that 18,000 tons of perfectly edible squash will be tipped straight into the bin following Halloween celebrations in the UK. This is the same weight as 1,500 double-decker buses.
British people are much more likely to throw away leftover pumpkins than their American counterparts who will turn them into soups, pies and tarts this Halloween. I have an American friend living in the U.K who even makes her own pumpkin butter.
The Pumpkin rescue campaign is urging British households to help prevent food waste this Halloween. To help reduce food waste this year why not try my mouth-watering Halloween risotto. A simple yet stylish dish that the whole family can enjoy.
To get the best out of this recipe you may want to opt for roasting a sweet, dense-fleshed squash like Crown Prince or Onion squash rather than the traditional Jack-O’-Lantern variety.
Serves 4-6 people
Time: 10 mins (prep)/ 60 mins (cooking)
1 medium-sized Pumpkin or squash
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 red onion finely chopped
4-6 mushrooms diced
250ml cider, plus a splash or two
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
1 apple, peeled and finely diced
200g arborio rice
1ltr chicken stock/vegetable stock
12-14 sage leaves chopped
A good tbsp scoop of mascarpone
A handful of Parmesan
1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
2) Carefully cut the top off your squash/pumpkin and remove the seeds. Season with sea salt and pepper inside and add a splash of cider to the centre. Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until tender.
3) Heat a glug of olive oil in a large risotto pan or pot. Fry the garlic, onion and apple until tender.
4) Add the pancetta and the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
5) Add the arborio rice and a splash of cider. Then add your stock a little at a time, allowing the rice to soak up the first ladle before adding the second. Repeat this process for twenty minutes.
6) Mix in the sage leaves.
7) Remove pumpkin from oven and stand to cool for 2-3 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and mix into the risotto.
8) Add the mascarpone and parmesan and swirl through the risotto.