Risotto is the ultimate comfort food. This one boasts creamy rice studded with nuggets of bacon. Butternut squash brings a hint of sweetness and the chilli adds just the right amount of heat. Don't forget a squeeze of lemon juice to bring everything together!
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Diced Butternut Squash
Flat Leaf Parsley
Streaky Bacon Rasher
Vegetable Stock Powder(ContainsCelery)
Grated Hard Italian Style Cheese(ContainsMilk, Egg)
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Put the diced butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle over a little oil. Season with salt and pepper. Pop on the top shelf of your oven and roast until golden and tender, 25-30 mins. Turn halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, halve, peel and chop the onion into small pieces. Roughly chop the parsley (stalks and all). Halve the red chilli lengthways, deseed and finely chop. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Chop the bacon rashers widthways into 1cm wide strips (use scissors for this if you like - it's much easier!) IMPORTANT: Wash your hands after handling raw meat.
Pour the water into a medium saucepan on high heat (see ingredients for amount). Add the stock powder, stir to dissolve and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Heat a splash of oil in another large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and bacon. Stir and cook until the onion is soft and the bacon browned, 5-6 mins.
Add the chilli and the garlic, cook for 1 minute more, then stir in the arborio rice. Cook for 1-2 mins. Add a ladleful of the stock and stir. Once the rice has absorbed the stock, add another ladleful and continue to stir. Continue adding stock and stirring regularly, until all the stock has been absorbed by the rice. This should take 20-25 mins.
The risotto is ready when the rice is ‘al dente’ - cooked through but has a bit of firmness left in the middle. Once ready, remove from the heat. Add the cooked butternut squash, the hard Italian cheese, three-quarters of the parsley and a knob of butter (if you have some).
Halve the lemon, add a squeeze of lemon juice, taste and season accordingly. Serve the bacon and butternut squash risotto in bowls with the remaining parsley sprinkled over the top. Buon appetito!