Butternut squash is now in season and, along with sage, gives this delicious vegetarian risotto a warming, autumnal twist.
- 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Small bunch of sage, leaves only, half chopped, half left whole
- 1.5L vegetable stock
- 50g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 300g risotto rice
- 125ml white wine
- 50g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
- Start by heating your oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas Mark 7. Coat the squash in 1 tbsp of oil, along with the chopped sage, and lay in a roasting tin. Pop in the oven, and roast for 30 minutes until soft and golden.
- Meanwhile, prepare the risotto by pouring the stock into a saucepan and bringing to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half of the butter over a medium heat, then stir in the onions and cook for around 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Stir the rice into the onions until coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges start to look transparent. Pour in the wine and simmer until it has completely evaporated.
- Add the stock gradually whilst stirring the rice, then cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently until the rice is al dente.
- Fry the sage leave over a gentle heat in a little olive oil until they are crisp. Set to one side. Remove the cooked squash from the oven and mash half of it to a rough puree and leave the other half whole. Stir the pureed squash through the risotto, then add the cheese butter and leave to rest to a for few minutes. Serve in bowls scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the fried sage leaves.
Lead image: Kuvona via Getty images.