Risotto – Butternut Squash

This recipe is in my humble (unbiased !) opinion, a really tasty snack or a main meal, and the flavour from the butternut squash adds that special ‘something else’  

The ‘small dish’ version is ideal as a meal for one or a snack for two, whilst the larger size is sufficient for a family meal.

It takes me no more than 30 minutes from start to finish, so it’s a quick as well as a very tasty meal.

When I buy a squash I look for one that is heavier than I need for just one meal, and after it’s peeled and cubed, I pack the surplus in re-usable freezer bags and pop the filled bags into the freezer.  (The frozen squash defrosts reasonably quickly and doesn’t appear to suffer from being frozen.)

Ingredients – 1 to 2 people
200 g butternut squash
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Bertoli Olive-oil spread
1 small onion – or a couple of shallots
400 ml vegetable stock
150 g arborio rice
1 tbsp grated Italian hard cheese
freshly ground sea-salt and black pepper
Ingredients – 3 to 4 people
400 g butternut squash
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Bertoli Olive- oil spread
1 onion – or 4 shallots
1000 ml vegetable stock (1l)
280 g arborio rice
2 tbsp grated Italian hard cheese
freshly ground sea-salt and black pepper
Peel the squash and cut in half and scoop out and discard the seeds.  Retain the weight that you need for the current dish, and place the rest in , say, 200 g quantities in re-usable freezer bags and place in the freezer.
Peel and chop the shallots (or onion) finely
Prepare the desired volume of vegetable stock in a saucepan
Heat the oil and half the quantity of Bertoli in a large saucepan over a moderate or medium heat and when sizzling add the shallots or onion, and cook gently for 2 or 3 minutes, until soft.
Meanwhile put your prepared stock in a small saucepan over a high heat, and when boiling reduce to a low heat and cover.
Add the cubed squash to the shallots in their saucepan, continuing with the medium heat setting and cook over for a further 4 minutes.
Add the arborio rice to the shallots and the squash and stir until the rice is well distributed over the squash cubes.
Add a 2 or 3 ladles of the simmering stock to the rice and squash mixture and gently stir until almost all the liquid has been absorbed
Add 2 or 3 more ladles and stir as before until the liquid has been almost all absorbed.
Continue with this addition / stirring until the mixture is thick and creamy – the stock should just about be all used up.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Stir the remainder of the Bertoli into the rice mixture followed by the grated Italian hard cheese.
Season with the fine sea salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste and serve

1 Comment

  • admin


    July 8, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I recently tried a variation of this recipe using Quorn pieces instead of the butternut squash. I can’t say it was ‘inspirational’, but it is an interesting variation. I think it needed a little something else, as Quorn is almost bland, although the texture fitted quite well with the other ingredients.

    The next time I’ll try adding some really tasty mushrooms.

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