I didn’t used to like risotto in the past, and only started liking it when I started making my own. These days I have a couple of ones I keep going back to in my kitchen, a butternut squash one and a beetroot one (click here for recipe). They are also both good vegetarian recipes (apart from these risottos and a couple of other recipes I don’t cook much vegetarian), however make a great meal even for a carnivore like me.
1 butternut squash
700 ml vegetable stock (I use water mixed with Bouillon powder)
2 garlic cloves
1 celery stick
1 bay leaf
4-5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
250g Arborio risotto rice
4 tbsp olive oil
200ml white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is good)
80g grated parmesan cheese
1. Heat oven to 180°C / 355°F. Cut, peel and deseed the squash. Place half of the prepared squash in an oven dish. Drizzle with half the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Place the other half of the squash in a pan together with the vegetable stock, bring to simmer.
2. Finely chop the onion, and place in a pan with the remaining olive oil, and half the butter. Whilst the onion is frying for few minutes, finely chop the garlic and celery. Together with the herbs, add to the onions, and cook for couple of minutes.
3. Add the rice, and stir together. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, then add the white wine. Simmer until the wine is reduced.
4. Start adding the stock, one ladle at a time. Let the liquid absorb before adding more. Keep stirring the mixture.
5. When there is only a little bit of stock left, mash until pureed, and add to the rice. If the rice isn’t yet cooked enough, you can also add the puree little by little.
6. Add most of the roasted squash pieces, remaining butter and most of the cheese. Mix together, and let stand for couple of minutes. Season if required, and give another stir. Serve with the remaining roasted pieces and parmesan cheese.