Risotto is one of those dishes that I love to eat and this Butternut Squash Risotto is the perfect autumnal warming meal. I do prefer it though when other people cook it for me. It’s a dish that requires time that few of us have these days and patience which is in quite short supply around here!
Butternut Squash Risotto
I suppose the act of gradually adding stock and stirring the rice all the while waiting for the rice to soak up those lovely flavours might be soothing in some circumstances but I was hungry as I made this so all in all I was quite irritated by the end of things. Thankfully though the risotto turned out really well and saved the day and my hangry mood.
Butternut Squash Risotto
This recipe was born out of a lack of enthusiasm for yet another pot of soup. I had a squash that needed to be used and I was going to make my usual go to squash recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup . After roasting the squash however I had realised that I have about 4 containers of this soup hanging out in the freezer so I turned to google for inspiration!
To make risotto you should use a specific risotto rice such as Arborio which is one of the easiest to find in Ireland. The grain is shorter and fatter than other rice varieties which allows it to absorb the liquid better and gives the starchy thick texture of risotto.
Aroborio rice gives the perfect risotto texture
Traditionally a risotto is finished off with Parmesan cheese to give it an extra creamy finish. I skipped that here to keep this risotto dairy free. However the addition of puréed squash in the risotto replicates that creamy finished texture very well.
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Risotto
1 Medium Sized Butternut Squash
4 Cloves Of Garlic
2 Tablespoons Rapeseed Oil
300g Arborio Rice
100ml White Wine (optional – replace with equivalent stock)
1.2 Litres Stock (Vegetable, Chicken etc.)
A couple of sprigs or fresh Thyme or Sage.
Preheat your oven to 180C. Cut the squash into 4 pieces, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with a little oil and place on a baking tray in the oven. It should be nicely roasted after 45 mins to an hour. I don’t know about everyone else but I struggle to peel and chop butternut squash at the best of times so this to me is the easiest way to prepare it! It will scoop out of the skin so easily.
Meanwhile finely dice the onion and garlic. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a wide shallow pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme or sage at this point. Get used to the stirring, you will be doing a lot of it!
Add the rice to the onion and garlic and stir it so that it’s coated in the oil. Keep stirring until you start to see the edges of the grains of rice begin to turn transparent. Add the wine and simmer until it has been absorbed/evaporated.
Add a ladle full of stock to the pan. Stir the rice regularly while it absorbs the stock. Continue adding the stock, ladle by ladle. Keep on stirring at regular intervals until most of the stock is absorbed. Keep aside about half a ladle of stock.
Your squash should be roasted by now so remove it from the oven. Peel away the skin and add half of the squash to a food processor or blender with the small amount of stock you held back. Purée the squash and stock and add it to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to stir the rice until most of the liquid is absorbed. Roughly chop your remaining roasted squash.
Spoon the risotto out into serving dishes. Top with the chopped roasted squash and some spring onion to garnish and provide a little colour.
This reheats well, keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Freezing may cause it to lose its texture. I’m sure it would taste fine but would likely be a bit of a gloopy mess!