With the weather still being stuck in this fickle phase, this recipe is again, another perfect one for the recent unexpectedly nippy weather. It’s wholesome, warming and just hits the spot. Also, as many of you may be home for the easter break, it’s an impressive enough dish to please the parents. Even more perfectly, it’s not too hard or expensive to make. The colour may be questionable, but the taste is delicious, so don’t be put off. Just sit back near a roaring fire, grab a slice of toast and enjoy.
1 butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp chilli flakes (optional)
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
300g Arborio risotto rice
150ml white wine
1 litre hot free-range chicken stock
50g Parmesan (or vegetarian equivalent) cheese, plus shavings to top
1. Heat the oven to 220 C. Toss the butternut squash with the olive, chilli flakes and thyme in a large roasting tray and season, then roast for 35 minutes until golden and crispy.
2. In a large pan melt the butter on a low heat and add the onion, cooking gently until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic for a further minute and then pour in the rice, stirring continuously for 2 minutes to coat.
3. Pour the wine into the pan and stir for about 2 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Start adding the hot stock a ladle full at a time only allowing the rice to absorb the stock after each addition before pouring in the next ladle full.
4. When all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is just cooked through but still has some bite, remove from the heat. Mash half the roast squash with the milk. Stir through the mashed squash and cheese then spoon into shallow bowls and scatter with the remaining, roasted squash pieces and cheese shavings.