Rice is something I grew up eating, rice and chicken of all types, soups with rice and even desserts like warm rice pudding. Risotto was one of the first things I can say I perfected in Italian cuisine. There are so many different ways you can make risotto, you can be as creative as you wish. When I can’t think of what to make for dinner but have a lot of vegetables in the fridge, I will usually prepare a risotto. Autumn is one of my favorites season because of all the warm flavors that welcomes the it in, especially butternut squash and pumpkin. It was only a matter of time I would make a risotto with some. Delicious dinner to have, followed by a cozy cuddle by the fire with some hot cider.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Serving size; 2
150 grams pureed butternut squash (I cut the butternut squash in slices, deseed, steam cook it and then puree it. I freeze the extra!)
200 grams Arborio rice
half a white onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp white wine
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 pint chicken or vegetable stock
2 knobs of butter
30 grams freshly grated parmesan
2 strips of finely sliced bacon or pancetta
salt & pepper
Over medium heat sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil in a large pan until onion is translucent but without browning the garlic, about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and coat thoroughly with olive oil, garlic and onion mix and cook for about a minute or so and then splash the white wine into the pan until it is all evaporated. Add a ladle of stock continuing to stir with your wooden spoon. Once the liquid has mostly been cooked away, add another ladle of stock and heaping spoonful of butternut squash and repeat the process until the rice is cooked to al dente. (firm to the bite) If you need to add more stock, then do so, but making sure that there is no access stock because risotto is meant to be creamy and not runny. Once you have determined the rice to be al dente, go ahead and add the knobs of butter and parmesan and season with salt and pepper if needed. I was taught by my suocera (mother in law), that you can tell a good risotto by tilting the plate and no liquid runs out. Sprinkle some crisp pieces of pancetta on top for an extra little touch. You won’t be sorry you did.