Butternut squash risotto
A risotto is one of my favourite meals to cook, I find it so comforting and nourishing. Definitely not a quick meal to prepare, a risotto needs a lot of love and attention.
1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. of dried sage (can also use fresh sage)
1½l vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small glass white wine
1 cup of peas
300g arborio rice
50g parmesan or vegetarian/vegan alternative, finely grated
Pre heat the oven to 200C . Toss the squash in 1 tbsp oil together with the chopped sage. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until brown and soft.
While the squash is cooking you can start making the risotto. In a small saucepan, bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate large pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions, dried sage and pancetta, cook gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
Pour in the wine and simmer until completely evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and and an almost soup like consistency.
Add the peas and leave them to cook for 5 minutes. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave half whole. When the risotto is just done, stir through the purée, then add the cheese and remaining butter and leave to rest for a few minutes. Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash.