Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto.
Butternut Squash is one of my favourite vegetables (but hey, I love pretty much all veggies!) So if you have ever wondered what to do with a butternut squash or winter squash, then I have just the recipe for you – Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto = yum!
Roasting your butternut squash first, might seem like an extra step in the cooking process, but it actually makes it easier! How? Well you don’t need to battle with the tough outer skin of the squash, as you roast it skin n’ all! Then all there is to do is scoop out the flesh and add it to the risotto. Roasting the squash until tender also brings out the sweetness, and really enhances the flavour of this Italian inspired dish.
I have been lucky enough to have travelled around Italy 3 times, although I was more obsessed with vegetarian ravioli, stuffed with sage butter …drool.. than risotto at the time. Italian food, as you can imagine has a very special place in my kitchen, not only for the vibrance of flavours and ingredients, but because it lends itself very well as a vegetarian cuisine. A real traditional Italian meal will always contain meat in one of the many courses, but there is always ample vegetarian dishes to sample, such as the above mentioned ravioli, pizza florentine, or a delicious pasta dish. The first time I travelled to Italy I was only 12 or so. My dad was working in the cosmopolitan city of Milan and we took a trip from there to Venice by train, it was all very grand and luxurious. On my second trip I was backpacking from Milan via Florence to the island of Elba, which was a far dustier and rough round the edges kind of trip! And finally I took a trip to the magical city of Rome with my mum a few years ago, and would love to go back! My mum is incidentally going to be teaching an painting course in Italy in September.
So with no further ado, I give you a recipe on Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto.
1 squash, either butternut or any winter squash
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 litre of organic vegetable stock
1 knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g/14 oz risotto rice
200ml dry white wine
1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves picked
6 heaped tablespoons vegetarian parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
- Carefully cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then cut the squash into 1 inch slices. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat evenly.
- Place in a baking tray, and bake for 30 minutes until the flesh and skin are soft to the touch.
- Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Scrape off the flesh of the squash, and discard the skins.
- Next make the risotto.
- Heat the butter in a medium/large pan over a medium heat, and add the chopped onions. Once the onions are soft, add the rice and garlic. Stir well to coat in the butter for about 1 minute.
- In a separate small pot, heat the stock.
- Add a ladle of the hot stock to the rice and stir until the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. Carry on adding and stirring a ladle of stock at a time, until you have used up all the stock – this will take about 20 mins.
- Now add the wine, and stir again, until the wine is absorbed.
- Add the squash, and stir in together with the parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Season to taste with extra black pepper and salt. Serve.