Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

This is one of my favourite risottos. There is a lovely sweetness to the squash once it's roasted, and the pumpkin seeds with the chilli flakes add a special edge to the meal. I think alot of people are put off by risottos feeling that they are time consuming, the thought of having to stand over them ladling in the stock. However today I wanted to make my sister a nice lunch as she had come to help me sort my house out a little. It's gone to pot since I've started this blog. That's my excuse anyway. In the middle of cooking lunch the washing machine repair guy turned up, so I really wasn't paying that much attention to the risotto bubbling in the frying pan. In my sister's words it was "gorgeous". This is taken from a book called "No-fuss Suppers".

Serves 2 (large portions)

500g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 and a half teaspoons dried chilli flakes
salt and pepper
25g pumpkin seeds
850 ml of vegetable stock (bouillon powder)
1 small onion, finely chopped
150g Arborio rice
100 ml white wine (I didn't want to open wine, so I used dry sherry instead)
50 g of parmesan cheese, finely grated
creme fraiche to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 230C.
Put the butternut squash in a small roasting tin with 1 tbspn of olive oil, half a tspn of chilli flakes and season well. Toss the squash in the oil and put in the preheated oven for about 20 min, or until soft and golden, stir occasionally while cooking.
Heat 1 tbspn of olive oil in a small frying pan and toast the pumpkin seeds with the remaining chilli flakes for about 1-2 mins until browned. Set aside until needed.
Whilst the squash is cooking in the oven, make the risotto. Heat the last tbspn of oil in a frying pan, fry the onion until soft and golden. Add the rice and stir for 2-3 mins, then add the wine and let simmer until reduced by half. Add some of the vegetable stock and let the risotto continue to simmer gently, adding another ladleful each time the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. At this stage I did wander off and just come back to check the risotto and add more stock. Keep cooking until all the stock has been used and the rice is cooked and tender. Stir in the butternut squash, add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste. Serve immediately, topped with the pumpkin seeds and creme fraiche if using.