Sage and butternut risotto
Skill level: Bit of effort
An ideal dish to serve on its own or as an accompaniment to a main meal this delicious and creamy sage and butternut squash is so simple to make, you’ll want to make it time and time again. The distinctive flavour of fresh sage is great with butternut squash. Roasting the squash before adding to the risotto gives a deliciously rich, deep flavour and makes it quicker to cook too.
- 1 medium sized butternut squash weighing about 800g
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 300g risotto rice e.g Arborio
- 125ml dry white wine
- 700ml hot vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 25g butter
The butternut squash can be cooked in a saucepan instead of the oven if you prefer. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into 2.5cm cubes. Cook in plenty of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes until the squash is soft. Drain and add to the risotto as above.
- Preheat oven to 200⁰C/400⁰F/Fan 180⁰C/Gas Mark 6. Cut the squash in half lengthways and remove the seeds.
- Put the squash into a roasting tin and drizzle with 1tbsp of olive oil.
- Bake the squash for about 1 hour until the flesh is soft.
- Meanwhile, make the risotto – heat 2 tbsps of the oil in a large heavy based frying pan or sauté pan.
- Add the onion, spring onions and garlic and fry over a medium heat until softened but not browned.
- Pour the stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Keep the stock gently simmering on the hob but do not allow it to evaporate ( take the pan off the heat if necessary.)
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the onions and garlic. Stir in the rice and cook gently until the rice looks translucent.
- Pour in the wine and cook until it has been absorbed by the rice.
- Add a ladleful of the hot stock and stir continuously until it has been absorbed. Continue with the remaining stock, a ladleful at a time, until it has all been absorbed and the rice is softened but still “ al dente”. This can take about 20 minutes.
- When the butternut squash is fully softened, remove it from the oven and scoop out the flesh. Mash the flesh a little but retain the texture and add to the rice with the sage. Stir in gently.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter and serve immediately.