Monday, 4 July 2011

Butternut squash risotto



Risotto rice (arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano - I would recommend carnaroli), vegetable stock, white onion, garlic, sage, rosemary, butter, butternut squash, brandy.  
All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol (white wine, brandy or vermouth produce the best flavours) and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time.

1) Peel the butternut squash, slice it in half and remove the seeds before cutting it into chunks. Melt a little butter and chopped sage leaves and stir the butternut squash into it. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

2) Separate 5 cloves of garlic from the bulb and roast in the oven for 30 minutes (within the skin) Squeeze the garlic from the skin and stir into a pint of vegetable stock.

3) Melt a knob of butter in a pan and add some chopped sage and rosemary leaves and half a finely diced white onion. Soften the onions for about a minute and then stir in the risotto rice. Stir until the rice becomes transparent, revealing a white dot in the centre and pour in a glass of brandy.

4) Once the alcohol has cooked off, stir through the stock one ladleful at a time, adding the roasted butternut squash with the second ladle of stock.

5) Serve once the rice has softened and the starch has created a creamy sauce.

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