Hello! Monday again, is it just me or are these weeks flying by super-duperley fast? Can't believe it's been almost a fortnight since I posted the making of my frittata :: wow, you certainly liked that recipe! I had some wonderful emails and comments following that post and I know a few of you tried it out with success. Love that you did that.
So by popular demand, I have set the table and would love you to come into the kitchen with me while I cook Butternut Squash Risotto for you. Its another great Attic24 family favourite, we have a risotto of some sort or another most weeks. I love that risottos have very limited ingredients (which I usually have in), are easy to make and taste utterly delicious. Its very hard to balls up with a risotto, so long as you season well and try not to under cook or over cook the rice.
Butternut squash is such a wonderful vegetable, slightly odd looking it has to be said, but oh so flavoursome. I love the colour of it, that surprising shade of orangey yellow inside the pale skin.
Cut the squash in half length ways and scoop out the seeds. Then cut it in half again (across the middle) so that you end up with four chunky pieces. Pare the skin away with a sharp knife and chop the flesh into 2cm dice.
The risotto rice I use is pearly white arborio rice. For our family of four (and the Little People do eat a surprising amount) I use 250g rice which is half a packet.
The only other ingredients are olive oil, a generous knob of butter, one onion, one clove of garlic, one litre of good stock and some fresh parmesan cheese. And thats it.
Put the chunks of squash onto a baking sheet and drizzle with a good slug (about 2tbs) olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss it all about with your hands so that the squash is nicely coated with oil. Bake in the top of a hot oven (220C / 425F / Gas 7) for 20-25 mins or so. The squash should be lovely and soft and lightly browned, check on it and toss it around from time to time to make sure it doesn't burn.
While the squash is baking, begin the risotto in a large heavy-based saucepan. Heat 1tbs oil and a large knob of butter , then saute a chopped onion with a crushed garlic clove for about 5 minutes (onion should be golden but not browned).
Add the rice and stir well so the grains get coated in the oil/butter.
Make up 1 litre of stock in a jug with boiling water :: I use a good liquid stock called Touch of Taste by Knorr, it comes in a bottle and is far superior to the crumbly sort of salty dry stock cubes. Although this is a vegetarian meal, I usually use chicken stock as I always have this in the fridge, and in my opinion it has a better flavour than the veggie stock.
You need to add the stock in a bit at a time so that the rice is covered, simmering on a medium heat. I don't tend to stand and stir mine all the time, but you do need to keep an eye on it, topping up with more stock as it gets absorbed. I find for 1 litre of stock, it should take about 25mins or so. The rice wants to end up soft but not mushy, with a very slight bite to it.
When all the stock has gone in and you think it's almost done, add the roasted squash to the pan and cook for about 5 mins more to heat through. Then lastly stir in a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper (careful with the salt cos of the saltiness from the stock).
Serve straight away piled in a delicious dollop with a few parmesan shavings on top and perhaps a green salad or green veg on the side. Tuck in while it's still piping hot, I hope you're gonna love it.