I’ve been *following* Design Files for a while now, but a few months ago a colleague encouraged me to subscribe to it’s daily updates. This has resulted in me salivating every morning, either over the beautiful design examples or delicious looking food suggestions…

Recently I gave it’s Pumpkin and bacon risotto recipe a go.

Risotto and rice-based dishes have always been a great gluten-free alternative for me, that everyone else seems to love as well. They can also easily and deliciously be dairy free and vegetarian (although this one is not vego…)

Strangely the recipe I followed did not mention how much rice was required, or that rice was even an ingredient! So I had to guess on that part, but it worked out okay.

I love making risotto. Even though I have to stay there stirring, stirring, stirring… as long as I’ve got a glass of wine and Twitter access, I’m happy 🙂

As you can tell by my photos, it’s also another late night meal… (I will get a decent camera one day!)

I served it with rocket, pear and roasted walnut salad with reduced balsamic vinegar dressing. Yum.

Pumpkin and bacon risotto


  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 900g pumpkin
 (I used Queensland blue, but I think jap or butternut would do just as well)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons savoury herbs (I used fresh rosemary)
4 rashers of bacon (gluten free)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 100g Nuttelex (well that’s how much I used)

1 cup of white wine
 (and the rest is available to drink, yay!)
  • 3 ½ cups of warm chicken stock (gluten and dairy free)
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (if you can tolerate it, I use sheep milk pecorino as a non-cow milk substitute, or omit for a totally dairy free dish)


  1. Peel the pumpkin skin off and chop into cubes. I find it much easier to cut pumpkin at room temperature, or when it’s a tad warm. Also a good potato peeler can be used to peel some pumpkin skins.
  2. Cut the bacon rashers into small squares and add everything to an oiled tray.
  3. Sprinkle the paprika, nutmeg, coriander and savoury over the pumpkin and bacon squares.
  4. Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.
  5. Place into a moderate oven for 30 minutes or until well cooked.
  6. After 15 minutes, turn the pumpkin pieces over to ensure they are roasted evenly.
  7. Meanwhile in a large pot, add a slug of olive oil and the chopped onion.
  8. Let it brown before adding the butter, garlic and rice.
  9. Cook the rice for a minute or so until it’s well coated in the melted butter.
  10. Add a cup of warm stock to the rice and stir continuously.
  11. Once all the rice has absorbed the stock, stir in the wine.
  12. Add the rest of the stock a cup at a time until it is all added, ensuring you’re stirring continuously to prevent the bottom from sticking.
  13. Taste the rice and add some water if it needs further cooking.
  14. Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat and add half the parmesan cheese (if you choose).
  15. Cover the rice and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  16. The pumpkin and bacon should be cooked by this stage; remove the tray from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  17. Serve the rice into a bowl, top it with the roasted pumpkin and bacon and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (if desired).

And enjoy!

As mentioned, I also served this with rocket, pear and roasted walnut salad with reduced balsamic vinegar dressing.

Below: the roasted pumpkin and bacon, and the risotto mixture… mmm.