Cindy Lam of Olive Oly Kitchen cooks delicious vegetarian recipes that support local farms. Not only a perfect primo for vegans or vegetarians, this recipe is so versatile and can easily be adapted. Have the leftover purée and pesto any which way you want, be it in a pasta dish or simply as a spread

Serves: 2–4

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 40 min


  • ½ medium-sized pumpkin (around 400–500g), cut into 1½-in cubes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ glass Prosecco (or any dry white wine)
  • 800ml vegetable stock, kept warm
  • 1 small handful of roasted garlicky breadcrumbs, to garnish
  • extra-virgin olive oil

For the sage pesto:

  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving (optional – can skip if you are vegan)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1–2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven at 200ºC.
  2. To make the pesto, blitz all ingredients in a food processor until the desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Season the pumpkin with the paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper and a few drizzles of olive oil. Mix together and spread evenly on a baking tray. Bake for about 15–20 minutes, until soft and golden.
  4. Transfer the roasted pumpkin cubes to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Preheat a saucepan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and cook the onion until tender and translucent.
  6. Toss in the rice and evenly coat the grains before adding the Prosecco.
  7. Add a couple ladles of the vegetable stock and stir until absorbed by the rice. Repeat this step by adding a ladle at a time on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  8. Add about ⅔ cup of the pumpkin purée and 1–2 tbsp of the sage pesto along with another ladle of the stock. Stir and let the rice absorb. Repeat this step by adding one ladle at a time for about another 5 minutes until the rice is creamy and thick. Turn off the heat until ready to serve.
  9. Serve the risotto with some grated Parmesan, if desired, roasted garlickly breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

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