This has the wonderful golden orange colours of a risotto milanese (made with saffron), but the flavour of the butternut is wonderful with rice.
- 1 large butternut squash
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 5 sage leaves (finely chopped)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large knobs of butter (divided)
- 3 leeks (finely sliced)
- 400 g arborio rice
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 1 l vegetable stock (heated to simmering)
- 4 tblsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 75 g pine nuts, to serve
- This has the wonderful golden orange colours of a risotto milanese (made with saffron), but the flavour of the butternut is wonderful with rice. The sprinkling of toasted pine nuts gives a lovely finish to this recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Cut the butternut squash into 6–8 wedges (no need to peel), remove the seeds and place in a roasting tray. Add a generous amount of olive oil, the chopped garlic, half the sage leaves, sea salt and pepper over the butternut squash and rub it in with your hands. Roast in the oven for 40–50 minutes, until softened, becoming golden in colour.
- Once the squash has cooked, allow it to cool slightly, then scrape the soft flesh away from the skin into a bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher until it is fairly chunky in texture. Scrape any sticky juices left in the roasting tray into the bowl and keep warm while making the risotto.
- Heat some olive oil and 1 good knob of butter in a deep, heavy-based saucepan. Gently fry the leeks until softened.
- Add the rice and stir for 1 minute, until the grains are coated with the oil and butter and the rice is shiny and opaque.
- Add the wine and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add a good ladle of hot stock and the remaining sage and season well with salt and pepper.
- Reduce the heat and add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until each ladleful is absorbed. After about 15–20 minutes the rice should be creamy but still firm to the bite.
- Meanwhile, place the pine nuts in a fairly hot dry frying pan and toss around until golden, taking care not to let them burn.
- Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir the roasted butternut squash into the risotto, along with the Parmesan, the remaining butter and seasoning to taste. Add any extra stock if the risotto seems particularly thick.
- Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and extra Parmesan.
Catherine's tip: A time saving tip - bake the risotto in the oven, stir in the Parmesan after 20 minutes and bake for a further 15 minutes for a creamy texture.