Recipe below for squash risotto, which is lovely, especially with sweet potato added with the squash - it’s a bit heavy with just squash. It’s only fiddly because you have to roast the squash first - if you use any other veg instead (we do red pepper, yellow pepper and courgette risotto most often as the children love it!), you just saute the veg with the onion before adding the rice and cook the same way, gradually adding stock. If you eat cheese, it’s lovely stirred through at the end!
Butternut squash and pine nut risotto
lovely but a bit of a pain as you have to keep watching it whilst the rice cooks… Sooo worth it imo though!
1 large butternut squash
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
about 16 sage leaves, chopped
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 knobs Pure sunflower spread or Sainsbos dairy free spread
1 large onion, chopped
400g/14oz arborio or other Italian risotto rice
2 glasses white wine
1 litre/1¾ pint vegetable stock
75g/3oz pinenuts, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Cut the butternut squash into 6-8 wedges, remove the seeds and place in a roasting tray. Pound or chop the garlic and add a generous glug of olive oil, half the sage leaves, sea salt and pepper. Tip into the tray and rub over the butternut squash with your hands. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes until softened and becoming golden in colour.
3. Once the squash has cooked, cool slightly, then scrape the soft flesh away from the skin into a bowl. Lightly mash with a fork or potato masher until it is fairly chunky in texture. Scrape any sticky juices left in the roasting tray into the bowl and keep warm while making the risotto.
4. Heat the olive oil and a good knob of spread in a deep, heavy-based frying pan. Gently fry the onion until softened. Add the rice and stir for about a minute until the grains are coated with the oil/spread. Pour in the wine and stir continuously until it has cooked into the rice. Add a good ladle of hot stock and the remaining sage (except a tiny bit for garnish) and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down so the stock is simmering gently. Keep adding ladles of stock as it cooks into the rice, stirring and moving the rice around in the pan. After about 15-20 minutes the rice should be soft but still have a bit of bite left in it. The texture of the risotto should be thick and creamy, but not too loose. Add extra stock if necessary.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir the roasted butternut squash into the risotto with the remaining butter and seasoning to taste. Add any extra stock if the risotto seems particularly thick. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes as this will give the risotto an even creamier texture.
6. During this time, place the pinenuts in a fairly hot frying pan and toss around until golden. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and scatter with the pinenuts and remaining fresh sage.