Fast, Fresh, Simple: Baked Pumpkin and Sage Risotto

Donna Hay is a lady after my own heart.  I knew she was a cook and people loved her, but I was not wooed until I watched an episode of her television series, “Fast, Fresh, Simple”.

Credits: Boutique Hotel Management

Those three words pretty much sums up my cooking philosophy.  Something that’s quick, made with fresh ingredients and is as easy as can be!  As much as I loved watching MasterChef this season, there were things there that I knew I would not have the patience or time to ever try – I’d rather pay for someone else to do it! :P  However, Donna Hay’s approach to food in her television series really resonated with me, so when Book Depository had one of their sales a while back, I just had to purchase her book of the same title:

Instagrammed on the happy day that it arrived of course ;)

Sadly, I haven’t had as much time to cook from it yet but as I was home a lot more this week due to the sprained ankle (thanks for all the well-wishes btw ^^), I made an executive decision that we’d be making a dish that we’ve had on a number of occasions, even prior to purchasing the book!  It is seriously simple and sooo delicious that I had it again for lunch AND dinner the day after :D.

This will be the first of what I hope to be a series of posts as I cook through my favourites from this cook book (hence the FFS label lol).

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Risotto

from Donna Hay’s ‘fast, fresh, simple.’ 

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 400g arborio rice
  • 800g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1.25 litres (5 cups) of chicken stock
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 30g butter
  • 40g finely grated parmesan
  • extra finely grated parmesan and fried sage leaves, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Heat a large ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add the sage and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the rice, pumpkin and stock and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bake for 30 minutes. The risotto will be quite liquid.
  4. Stir through the salt, pepper, butter and parmesan and stir for 2 minutes until the risotto thickens slightly.
  5. Sprinkle with extra parmesan and fried sage leaves to serve.
Step 3 (before oven bake)
Step 3 (post over bake)
Step 5
Risotto was served with chicken fillets marinated overnight with salt, pepper, sugar and garlic :)

Kitchen notes: 

  • My mum being my mum insisted that we wash the arborio rice before using it which resulted in there being too much liquid… I think that may have been why the pumpkin pieces didn’t keep their shape and the risotto turned out more orange-y than expected. ANYHOW, in future, if I was to wash the arborio rice, I’d use one less cup of chicken stock.
  • We fried the sage leaves used for garnish after the risotto went into the oven :).
  • The first few times I made it, we couldn’t find sage in the grocery store so I used thyme instead – different flavour of course but still pretty good!

So there you have it!  Simple, right?  Perfect for the last of these wintery cold Melbourne nights :).

Have a great weekend everyone ^^

Random Question: If you had to describe your cooking/food philosophy in three words, what would they be?

♥ Ames

22 thoughts on “Fast, Fresh, Simple: Baked Pumpkin and Sage Risotto

    1. Oh dear, I just Googled FFS and I’m not sure I want to use that label any more >.<

      Thanks for sharing your cooking philosophy, Leaf – I like it :).

    1. It is definitely packed with flavour, CCU :). You don’t need to add much salt to it because the chicken stock does most of that for you :). xoxo

  1. Haha I actually thought ‘FFS’ stood for something else :p

    I’ve never tried making risotto before but you and Donna Hay make it seem pretty easy :)

    1. Yikes! Yes, after leaf brought it to my attention, I’ve decided I must change it! >.<

      I forgot to mention that this was the first time I made risotto, the reason being that Donna Hay does make it seem easy and guess what, it is! :D

  2. Wow that’s definitely a very easy looking risotto recipe, you’re showing all the masterchef people it’s NOT hard! Haha….love the FFS. :P

    Also I don’t usually wash arborio rice because the reason you wash rice is to get rid of the starch, but you’d want the risotto rice to be starchy which makes the grains stick together. Perhaps that’s why you thought it was watery, because they weren’t sticking. :)

    1. Haha yeah, thanks Jenny! I never used to try risottos because you have to stand around and stir it so to be able to just bung it in the over is beaut :D Yeah, no more FFS XD

      Good point about the starch – I’ll use that argument next time we make it :D

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