Butternut Squash Risotto

24/10/2012 21:13

An Italian dish, risotto should be wonderful and creamy, so make sure you use a short grain rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli for the best results. To make a perfect risotto, cook the dish in a large heavy-based pan with high sides. A wooden spoon works best for stirring a risotto. It's gentler on the rice than a metal spoon, and it won't scratch the inside of your pan. Stock should be added a ladleful at a time. Stir well and add another ladleful only when the liquid has been absorbed. The amount of liquid required depends on the rice. Keep testing the rice, it should be soft and creamy on the outside with a bite in the centre. Risotto is best made just before serving.

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
50g butter
1 butternut squash - peeled, deseeded, & cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350g /12oz Carnaroli or Arborio risotto rice
1 litre / 1  3/4 pt - hot vegetable or chicken stock
good pinch of chilli flakes
4 sage leaves, chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
Salt & black Pepper

In a large pan, add the stock and leave to simmer gently.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the squash and chilli flakes, cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring over a medium heat. Add 25g of butter to the pan, add the onion and garlic, cook for a further 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes, until thoroughly coated in the butter. Pour a ladleful of stock into the pan and cook gently, stirring until the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time until the rice and squash are tender-about 18-20 minutes, and most the stock has been absorbed. Stir through the sage, the remaining butter and the grated parmesan. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Tips ~ Butternuts hard rind and awkward shape means that they require careful cutting. The best way I find to cut up a Butternut squash is to use a good heavy chefs knife. Then, cut off the top and bottom of the squash. Halve and scrape out all the seeds. Then peel using a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the skin away in long strips. Then cut into strips the width you require for your recipe, then dice into cubes. (usually recipes call for 1-2inch cubes.) then just cook you butternut as required.