This is one of my favourite recipes! The ultimate Italian comfort dish is rich, creamy, and full of flavour. Risotto made properly requires a little love and attention, but well worth the effort.
Squash in various forms mostly grows in the UK in Autumn and Winter- pumpkins are especially cheap after Halloween! Because of their size, they can be a quite economical ingredient. And the seeds are packed full of protein- you can roast them with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil, to snack on.
Here I’ve used butternut squash, and fresh sage from a herb pot. The trick with the sage is to cook it for just the right amount of time so it’s crispy when you take it out of the pan and lay it down, but not too browned and darkened.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
Olive oil/ sunflower spread
6 cloves garlic, minced
12 fresh sage leaves
1 butternut squash
1 onion, chopped
200g risotto rice (arborio)
1 glass white wine
2/3 litre stock (I used 2 stock cube, as high a quality as you can find)
- Peel and chop the squash into chunks
- Mix the squash with a generous amount of salt, pepper, and olive oil, and roast in an oven for 30 minutes, until golden and soft.
- Meanwhile, soften the onion in a large saucepan with a dash of olive oil or sunflower spread.
- When the onion is softened, but not browned, tip in the rice and toast lightly.
- Tip in the wine and garlic and evaporate, stirring all the while
- Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring until each ladle evaporates. The risotto should be slightly soupy and cooked al dente, starchy with a little bite. Add more stock if necessary.
- In a frying pan, gently heat some olive oil, and fry the sage leaves for 2 minutes. The sage won’t look crispy in the pan- is cooked when it comes out of the pan and crisps up outside the heat.
- When the squash is ready, save half of it for serving and mash up the other half. Add it to the risotto and stir in. Season with more salt, pepper, a drizzle of nutritional yeast, and olive oil to taste, if necessary.
- Serve with the cubes of squash and a few sage leaves.
- Beware, this doesn’t always reheat so well, so best eaten all at once!