- 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- bunch sage, leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole
Popular in both Italian and British cookery, sage has long, grey-green leaves with a slightly…
- 1½ l vegetable stock
- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 1 onion, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 300g risotto rice (we used arborio)
To create an authentic creamy Italian risotto, the use of specialist rice is imperative. It…
- 1 small glass white wine
- 50g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
Before you make the risotto, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Toss the squash in 1 tbsp oil together with the chopped sage. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until it is brown and soft.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the risotto. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat 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 totally 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 slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.
At the same time, gently fry the whole sage leaves in a little olive oil until crisp, then set aside on kitchen paper. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave half whole. When the risotto is just done, stir though the purée, then add the cheese and butter and leave to rest for a few mins. Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the crisp sage leaves.