This is one of the cheapest ‘gourmet’ meals you can make.
Rice costs just a few cents. If you make your own stock from scraps, it costs a few cents as well.
And in season, you can pick up whole pumpkins for under $1. So you can feed the whole family a delicious and filling meal for only a couple of dollars.
It is, however, worth splurging on some nice cheese. A good, freshly grated parmesan will lift this dish into culinary heights. A little goes a long way and lasts a long time in the fridge, so although it’s a bit pricey up front, parmesan doesn’t add much to the cost of the dish.
The honey is also optional, but oh so delicious. Sprinkle in a little feta if you have it (I keep some in the freezer) or a little blue cheese to offset the sweetness of the honey.
about 500g pumpkin cut into bite sized cubes
1 Tbsp or so of olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1 –2 Tbsp honey
1/2 onion finely diced
1 cup of Arborio rice (I just use plain old long grain)
1/2 cup white wine (optional – replace with extra stock if not using)
1 – 11/2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock (hot if you could be bothered)
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
a slosh of cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200°C. On a baking sheet, toss the pumpkin in the oil, garlic, rosemary and honey. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until cooked through, giving the pan a shake halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, heat a little oil or butter in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté onion until soft. Add the rice, stirring to coat in the oil.
- Next, pour in the wine and stir until absorbed into the rice. Ladle in a little stock at a time, stirring until it is absorbed. Keep adding stock and stirring until the rice is cooked through.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper (to taste – you have to taste) and cream if using. Gently stir in the cooked pumpkin and serve.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.