Butternut risotto


Risotto is quite an expensive rice to buy, but it goes far as you only need a little to make a decent sized meal. So give this tasty butternut risotto a try and experiment with some other risotto dishes like this easy tomato risotto.

Ingredients:
400g butternut squash
2l vegetable stock
2½ tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350g risotto rice
6 sage leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Handful parsley (optional)

Method:
1. Halve the butternut lengthways, then scoop out the seeds.
2. Peel, then cut the flesh into about 2.5cm pieces.
3. Pour the stock into a pan, then bring to a gentle simmer.
4. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, wide pan. Add the onion, garlic, herbs and squash, then gently fry for about 10 minutes until the squash is almost tender. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick or burn.
5. With the heat on medium, tip the rice into the squash. Keep stirring for three to four minutes to toast it without colouring.
6. Start to add the hot stock – this process should take 18-20 minutes. Stir in one and a half ladles and adjust the heat so it simmers. Keep stirring and scraping down the sides. Once the first lot of stock has been absorbed, add another ladle, continuing to stir to keep the risotto creamy. Continue adding and stirring in a ladle of stock as each previous one is absorbed (it’s ready for more when you drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan and it leaves a clear line).
7. As the last of the stock goes in (keep a little back) check if the rice is ready – it should be soft with a bit of chew in the middle ­– and the consistency fluid.
8. Take the pan off the heat. Add a splash of the stock to keep the risotto moist, scatter over the parsley. With the lid on, let the risotto sit for three to four minutes to rest.

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