These lockdowns have left me spending a lot of my spare time daydreaming about visiting different cities around the world. I yearn to travel again, but can only compensate for this by cooking up recipes from different cuisines.
The memory of a crazy and wonderful trip to Rome in my twenties, and the blustery wind and rain yesterday, meant Italian was on the menu last night.
As I said in my instagram post, onions and garlic together in a risotto are a 'no-no' for Italians, but I'm a big fan of flavour, so I went rogue and added them to my butternut squash and sage risotto.
I hope you like the recipe - let me know if you think it's a sackable offence:).
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAGE RISOTTO
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
1 large or 2 small butternut squash, skin & seeds removed and chopped into 1” cubes or bite-sized chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fresh red chilli, sliced thinly
Handful of fresh sage, roughly chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
300g Arborio (Risotto) rice
Approx. 1500ml vegetable stock
1 small glass of white wine (optional)
Small organic vine tomatoes, washed (desired quantity)
1. Heat the oven to 185C.
2. Add the butternut squash cubes to a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil. Add ½ the chopped red chilli and ½ the chopped sage and toss to combine. Roast on 180C for 30-40 minutes until soft and lightly caramelised/browned. In a separate small roasting dish, place the vine tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil.
3. Whilst the squash & tomatoes are cooking, prepare the risotto. Place 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions. Cook on a medium heat until transparent (approx. 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning). Then add the garlic, stir, and cook for approximately 3 minutes until transparent. Add the fresh red chilli and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the risotto rice into the onion, chilli & garlic mix and stir to coat in the oil. Then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
5. Pour in the white wine and simmer until completely evaporated.
6. Put approx. 1 cup of stock aside for step 6. Then add the remaining vegetable stock, one ladleful at a time, and stir the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle).
7. Take half the roasted butternut squash cubes and puree in a blender with 1 cup of vegetable stock. Then stir the puree through the risotto and cook until warmed through.
8. Finally stir the remaining butternut squash cubes into the risotto.
9. Serve with the remaining chopped fresh sage & roasted vine tomatoes.
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