Warming, delicious and simple enough to rustle up in 35 minutes, this seasonal vegetarian risotto is Italian comfort food on tip-top form. Crispy butternut squash roasted with sage, is a simple flavour combination which takes the taste of this dish to the next level, and is one you’ll be dreaming about for days to follow. Top with cheese for an irresistibly creamy finish and tuck in!
Vegetable Stock Pot(ContainsCelery, Sulphites)
Hard Cheese (Italian Style)(ContainsMilk)
Preheat your oven to 220°C. Peel the butternut squash, then halve lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Chop into 2cm chunks. Pick the sage leaves from their stalks and finely chop (discard the stalks). Mix the squash and the sage leaves together on a baking tray with a glug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on the top shelf of your oven until crispy, 25-30 mins.
Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Halve, peel and chop the onion into ½cm pieces. Pour the water (amount specified in the ingredient list) into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil on medium-high heat and stir in the vegetable stock pot.
Heat half the butter and a glug of oil in another large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion, stir well and cook until soft, 5 mins. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute more. Add the rice, stir and cook until slightly translucent, 2 mins. If you happen to have a white wine, add half a glass to the pan. Let it bubble for 1 minute. If you don’t have any wine, don't worry - just move on to step 4.
Add a ladleful of the stock to the rice 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’. TIP: ‘Al dente’ simply means the rice is cooked through but has a tiny bit of firmness left in the middle. Once ready, remove from the heat. Add three-quarters of both the squash and the hard Italian cheese and the remaining butter. Taste and add salt and black pepper if you feel it needs it.
Serve the risotto in bowls with a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and topped with the rest of the squash chunks. If you have some good quality olive oil (or decadent truffle oil!) drizzle a little over the top. Enjoy!