Risotto is one of those dishes that is full of depth, warmth and flavour; or it’s stodgy and bland. It’s not the easiest thing to cook as you have to constantly stir it, but it doesn’t take long to do and is well worth the effort. I cooked this risotto a couple of weeks ago for my best friends and it definitely went down well. I use a small amount of cream in mine at the end as the wine makes it creamy without the fat content. This is so simple to do and a real crowd pleaser – even those who love their meat would enjoy this, of that I’m certain.
This recipe is for four people.
Prep time – 10 minutes.
Cooking time – 50 minutes.
- 1 medium butternut squash diced.
- 2 red onions (1 finely diced, 1 thinly sliced).
- 2 crushed garlic cloves.
- 200g soft goats cheese.
- 50g grated Parmesan.
- 100g frozen peas.
- 400g arborio rice.
- 1 tsp ground cumin.
- 1 tsp turmeric.
- 1 tsp smoked paprika.
- 500ml white wine.
- Salt and pepper.
- Fresh sage (if you can’t get it, use dried mixed herbs).
- 300ml vegetable stock.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Add a splash of oil to a large roasting tin and mix the butternut squash in with the cumin, paprika and turmeric. Ensure all the squash is evenly coated. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft.
- In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil in a large frying pan, fry the diced onion (leaving the sliced onion to one side) and the garlic on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan, stirring constantly so the rice doesn’t stick or burn.
- Season with salt and pepper and the herbs.
- Gradually add the wine – stirring each time you add some so the rice soaks up the flavour and so it starts to soften. This should take around 15 minutes.
- When all the wine has been used, add the peas to the pan and then gradually add the vegetable stock.
- In a small saucepan heat enough vegetable oil to shallow fry the remaining onion.
- Remove the butternut squash from the oven and add 3/4 of it to the risotto (keeping the remaining 1/4 warm), along with 100g goats cheese and the Parmesan.
- Turn the heat off the risotto and prepare to serve. The oil for the onion should be slightly bubbling. In batches, add the onion to the oil and fry for around 1 minute. Drain on tissue paper to get rid of any excess oil. If you have fresh sage, also fry off a couple of the leaves.
- Serve the risotto in bowls. Scatter the remaining butternut squash over the top and tear the goats cheese up to make it look rustic. Finish the dish with some of the crispy onions as they add a great texture and as I said at the beginning, give the dish more depth.