Mountain Risotto with Roast Butternut Squash and Sage

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This is a wonderfully creamy risotto with tons of flavour and the squash gives it a beautiful orange colour.  I made it for my family the first day we arrived in Val d’isere and it was not only tasty but the perfect meal to enjoy when it is cold outside.  I used Emmental but I would also recommend Gruyere.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 banana shallots, diced

Bunch of fresh sage

2 garlic cloves, diced

150g risotto rice, arborio

1/2 glass white wine

450-500ml hot chicken stock

1 medium leek, roughly chopped

500g butternut squash, chopped into equal sized small cubes

100g Emmental cheese, grated plus extra for serving

sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line two baking trays with baking parchment.  Add the butternut squash pieces and season with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Make sure that the squash is evenly coated and place into the oven for about 35-40 minutes until golden and soft.  Remove from the oven and roughly mash up half the squash with a fork and leave to one side.

While the squash is cooking begin with the risotto.  Set a large saucepan to a medium to high heat and when hot add 3 tablespoons of olive oil followed by the shallots and leek.   Chop up the sage leaving 6 leaves to one side and stir the rest into the pan.  Fry until the onions soften and then add the diced garlic.  Stir for another minute before adding in the rice.  Continue stirring and then pour in the white wine and let the alcohol burn off for a moment.  Keep stirring until most of the wine has been absorbed and then pour in some chicken stock.  Let this stock be absorbed by the rice before adding more and carry on until the rice becomes quite tender.  This will take about 20-25 minutes and when the rice is nearly cooked scrape in the squash.  Season generously with salt, pepper and the Emmental.  Taste to double check the seasoning and serve hot.

Minutes before the risotto is ready set a small frying pan to a medium to high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  When hot add the last few sage leaves and fry for a couple of minutes until the leaves have crisped up.  Then drain on some kitchen roll and add for a garnish on top of the risotto.  Bellisima!

Nina ParkerComment