The Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto is one of the most tastiest dishes I have made in the past. It is definitely the one everyone needs to try. The inspiration and the basic recipe comes from the BBC Food website.
As I don’t drink alcohol, I have replaced the white wine from this recipe with white grape juice instead, which from my research tells me that it does the same job. I prefer to use halal chicken stock cubes in my cooking too – brings out a different flavour than the vegetable one.
Ingredients (serves approx. 4 – 6 people)
1 large Butternut Squash
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped finely
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Handful of Sage Leaves, chopped
2 tsp Mixed Herbs
Salt & Black Pepper to season
3 Knobs of butter
2 Medium Onions
400g Arborio (risotto) Rice
300ml White Grape Juice (or White Wine)
1 Litre Hot Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Handful Cheddar Cheese, grated
1. Cut, de-seed and peel the Butternut squash and chop into roughly 1 inch chucks.
2. Place them in a roasting tray and add a drizzle of olive oil, chopped garlic, mixed herbs and salt & pepper to season.
3. Roast the butternut squash for approximately 40 minutes until it’s golden and soft. I transferred it into another dish to cool down and saved the garlic infused oil to use when cooking another dish in the future.
4. Leaving a handful of roasted chunks aside for garnishing, mash the butternut squash with a fork, which is easily done because it is so soft, but keep the texture a little chunky.
5. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and the butter. Fry the onions until soft and add the rice and mix for a minute to get it fully coated. Add the white grape juice (or wine) and stir until it is cooked into the rice.
6. Add a ladle of hot stock and keep stirring. Add in the chopped sage leaves and season well with salt and pepper.
7. Keep adding ladles of stock until the rice is thick and creamy and keep stirring around the pan. This should be done for around 20 minutes. This process seems long, but really adds to the texture. If it starts getting too loose or dry, add more stock.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mashed butternut squash and the grated cheese and mix it into the risotto.
9. Cover the risotto with a lid to intensify the flavours.
10. Serve with the reserved chunks of roasted butternut squash from before, warmed up, and enjoy the immense flavours.