Simple squash risotto
- Preparation and cooking time
- Prep: -
- Serves 2
- 1 butternut squash
- 4 tbsp light olive oil
- 600ml vegetable stock
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, picked
- 140g risotto rice (we like carnaroli)
- 100ml white wine
- 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
- STEP 1
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Peel the squash and separate the bulbous seed-bearing section from the slender end. Chop the slender end into 2cm cubes, toss in half the oil, season lightly and roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden brown on the outside and soft in the centre, about 30 mins. Cut the bulb in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon – you can keep these to toast in the oven and sprinkle over salads. Chop the flesh into 2cm pieces. Warm the vegetable stock in a small pan, set over a low heat. Drop in squash and leave to gently poach.
- STEP 2
While the squash is roasting, warm a medium-size frying pan over a gentle heat. Add the remaining olive oil and half the butter, followed by the onion. Cover and cook for 3 mins until the onion turns translucent. Stir in the celery, garlic, herbs and a few turns of pepper (no salt at this stage). Cover again and cook for a further 2 mins. Increase the heat slightly and stir in the rice. Stir, uncovered, for about 5 mins – this will help to develop the toasty aroma of the rice without burning the veg.
- STEP 3
Turn up the heat, stir in the wine and let it bubble away to almost nothing. Reduce the heat and start adding the stock. Add one ladle at a time, stirring gently but constantly during each addition. The idea is to encourage the rice to absorb the liquid and soften, but also give up its starch to thicken the remaining broth. Don’t stir too aggressively or you will end up with a pan of mush. When the stock has been absorbed, it’s time to add the next ladleful and so on. It will take about 15 mins to reach the final ladle of stock. By this time the squash in the stock should have softened. Mash it up with the remaining stock and stir into the risotto.
- STEP 4
Turn off the heat, dot the top of the risotto with remaining butter and most of the Parmesan, cover, leave to rest for 2 mins, then stir through and check the seasoning. Spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and sprinkle the roasted squash and leftover Parmesan on top. Serve with crusty bread and Sautéed spinach (below).