MUNCH RATING: 5/5
Although I discovered the wonders of oven-baking risotto, nothing can really compare to a properly made risotto and all that stirring is really worth it for this risotto!
Half of the butternut squash is cooked in the stock and then mashed into a puree. This makes the rice beautifully creamy. The other half of the squash is roasted and this gives it a wonderful charred flavour and a different texture. I love the smell of roasted squash; it just screams of Autumn.
Unfortunately I didn’t use a home-grown squash as they’re not quite ready yet!
- Serves: 2
- Oven temperature: Gas mark 6/400°F/200°C
- You will need: a roasting tray, a small saucepan, a medium saucepan
- 1 large butternut squash
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 600ml/1 pint vegetable stock (I used 1 Knorr Stock Pot)
- 25g/1oz unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, picked
- 140g/5oz risotto rice (I used Arborio)
- 100ml/3½ fl.oz white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
- 50g/2oz Parmesan (I used Twineham Grange)
- Heat oven to Gas mark 6/400°F/200°C.
- Peel the squash and separate the bulbous seeded section from the long end. Chop the long end into 2cm cubes, toss in half the oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven, turning occasionally until they are golden brown and tender (should take the same amount of time as to cook the risotto rice, about 30 minutes).
- Cut the bulbous section in half and remove the seeds with a spoon, then cut into 2cm cubes. Warm the stock in the small saucepan over a low heat and add the squash and allow it to gently poach.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and the butter in the medium saucepan, then add the onion, cover and cook for 3 minutes until the onion turns translucent.
- Add the garlic, herbs and some black pepper. Increase the heat slightly, then add the rice and stir uncovered for about 5 minutes until the rice has turned almost completely translucent.
- Turn up the heat and add the wine and allow it to bubble away until it has evaporated. Reduce the heat then start adding the stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly whilst you allow each ladle of stock to be absorbed. It will take between 15-20 minutes for all the stock to be absorbed. Check the rice is cooked (it should be tender but not mushy) and then mash the squash that has been cooking in the stock before adding it to the cooked rice.
- Turn off the heat, add most of the Parmesan, cover and leave to rest for 2 minutes, then stir and check for seasoning.
- Spoon the risotto into shallow bowls, sprinkle over the roasted squash and more Parmesan if you like.