Oh, I love butternut squash. It’s so good roasted in a little olive oil, with a touch of garlic and some sage leaves. I could easily polish off a whole tray of the stuff by itself. In fact, I sometimes do. When I can restrain myself from scoffing the lot, butternut squash risotto is by far my favourite dish to serve it in.
It’s not the easiest meal to make when you have three small children, as you need to stir it constantly as you add the stock but it’s definitely worth the effort as the combination of flavours and that melt-in-the-mouth texture make this amazing. Baby I devours this one, Little Man O loves butternut squash because orange is his favourite colour, and Little Miss E loves sprinkling on the parmesan.
I was trying to find the recipe book this one came from so I could credit it properly, but I have no idea, as it’s one of those dishes I have made from memory for several years now. Here goes with the latest in my weekly series of family-friendly food ideas:
Serves 4-5, depending on appetite
1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
a handful of fresh sage leaves or a teaspoon of dried sage
1 onion, finely chopped
300g risotto rice
1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of butter
50g of parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, grated
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees/180 fan oven/gas mark 6. Put the chopped up squash into a roasting tin, drizzle with three tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle over the garlic clove, pressed, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice.
2. Once the squash is roasting, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan and then sweat the chopped onion on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until it is translucent (don’t let it brown).
3. Add the risotto rice and stir for a minute or two until it is coated with the onion and oil.
4. Keep the stock simmering on low in a separate pan. Add the stock to the risotto pan a ladle at a time, ensuring each ladle-full is absorbed before adding the next one. You need to make sure to stir regularly, so that the risotto does not stick to the pan, but not too hard or it will become sludgy. It should take about 20 minutes for all the water to be absorbed.
5. Stir in the butter, half the cheese and the squash. Season with salt and pepper, spoon onto plates or into pasta bowls, and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Serve with a side salad and/or garlic bread/crusty bread.
Hope you enjoy this one as much as we do.
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