Orzotto Con Zucca (Barley & Pumpkin Risotto)

"This is a Matthew Ford recipe from the Guardian's weekend magazine. Using barley makes a nice change from rice and it's good for you as well. If you want you can also add sautéed mushrooms or shredded meat. I often use butternut squash instead of pumpkin as it's more widely available here."
photo by Annisette photo by Annisette
photo by Annisette
Ready In:




  • Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan, add the barley and simmer until done, about 40 minutes. If you want you can add some chopped mushrooms to this for the last 5-10 minutes.
  • Microwave, boil or roast the pumpkin until soft. I usually roast mine with a few sprigs of thyme for extra flavour.
  • Put the cooked pumpkin together with the butter into a blender and process to a puree.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add the puree to the barley and season again with salt and pepper.
  • Just before serving mix the parmesan into the 'risotto'.
  • Serve hot with fresh crusty bread.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Annisette
    Yum! Used the vegetable broth option, and canned pumpkin. The parmesan cheese really makes this taste so good! Thanks!!
  2. Kaarin
    Mmmm...wonderfully warming for a cold day like today. I used a vegetable broth mix #113354 for the stock, which I thought seasoned this richly. I also used frozen pumpkin puree. Easy to make, and delicious. Thank you!
  3. Mrs B
    Mmmmmm, this is great comfort food! It is easy to make and tastes wonderful. I suspected I'd need less stock, so started off with about half the quantity and added more as the stock was absorbed; in the end I did use a bit less. However I was probably generous with the butter and cheese :-) (I used mature chedder) and served this with vegetarian sausages. Sylvie, I hope you get round to making this dish soon. We'll definately be having it again!


Hi, I'm 31 and cooking and living in England. I was born in Germany and that's where I grew up and lived until I came to the UK to go to University in 1998. I never went back to live in Germany, even though all my family is still there.
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