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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Food: Butternut squash risotto

Here's another butternut squash recipe! The simple reason is that I used half a squash for the oxtail stew and I didn't want to let the other half go to waste. Butternut squash is great in risotto, it's really creamy and melts beautifully into the rice once you mash it. Sage leaves complement the squash beautifully. This recipe is great for any vegetarian visitors, but rest assured, meat lovers won't be disappointed either! Risotto is a labour of love, you really do need to add the stock very gradually and be willing to stir all the while.

Serves 2

500g buternut squash, peeled seeded and cut into 2.5 cm cubes
200g arborio rice
1 L stock made with hot water and vegetable stock cube
8 sage leaves
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
20g butter
100ml white wine
A little olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

To serve: freshly grated parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Place the butternut squash on an oven proof tray and coat in 2 tbsp of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
2. Finely chop 4 sage leaves and sprinkle on top of the squash.
3. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the squash is softened.
4. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a frying pan and sautee the onion and garlic until softened (around 5 minutes), add the arborio rice and cook for a further 3 minutes of until the rice is coated in oil and has turned translucent.
5. Add the white wine to the pan, bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook until most of the wine has evaporated.
6. Add 1 ladleful of stock at a time and stir until most of the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this until you have added all/most of the stock and the rice still has a little 'bite' to it when you try it. Make sure your risotto is still quite runny. Lots of people make the mistake of making their risotto too dry.
7. Mash half the butternut squash and stir into the risotto. Add the butter. Add the remaining squash whole. It's good to have two different textures of squash in the dish.
8. Fry the remaining sage leaves in a little oil.

9. Divide the risotto between two dishes and top with freshly chopped parsley, sage leaves and grated parmesan.

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