This cosy and comforting meal is the perfect dish for these colder evenings
Whether you’re coming in from a long commute or feeling drained after a full-on day working from home, it’s always nice to have something warm and tasty to revive you in the darker evenings. This AVOCA recipe includes the sweetness of roasted squash mixed with the earthy sage and nutty Parmesan – a match made in heaven. Add strips of smoked streaky bacon and toasted pine nuts, if you are feeling fancy!
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 50g butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 300g risotto rice
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp ground tumeric
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 150ml white wine
- 120g grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Scatter the diced butternut squash over a baking tray, drizzle with the oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, until soft.
- Divide the roasted squash in half. Blend one half to a smooth puree and keep the other half as it is to mix through the risotto for added texture.
- Meanwhile, put the stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer to keep it hot.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion, sage and a pinch of salt and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and transparent, but not coloured. Add the rice, star anise, lemon zest, turmeric and nutmeg, stirring to coat the rice in the butter. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until you start to see the rice turning transparent.
- Add the wine, stirring to deglaze the pan. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes, until the wine has all been absorbed by the rice. Add the hot stock one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until all the stock has been absorbed, before adding the next ladleful. It will take up to 20 minutes to cook the risotto, stirring all the time to release the starch from the rice and give the risotto its deliciously creamy texture. Risotto is meant to be served al dente, so you might not need all of the stock.
- Stir in the butternut squash pureé and roasted cubes and cook for 1 or 2 minutes to warm them through. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.