Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

By Annabel Karmel, October 1, 2009

Risottos are really quite simple to make and this one is delicious with butternut squash puree, mascarpone and Parmesan. The traditional method for making risotto is to add the stock a ladle full at a time and then add more stock once the stock has been absorbed. In my version I add the stock in larger amounts so its even simpler.

Its important to use a large saucepan or a frying pan as this speeds up the absorption of the stock. You can make the butternut squash or pumpkin puree in advance.

Makes 4 to 6 portions

● ½ medium butternut squash or wedge of pumpkin (250 g peeled weight )
● 30g (1oz) butter
● 1 small onion, finely chopped
● 1 clove garlic, crushed
● 225g (8oz) risotto rice (such as Arborio)
● 800 to 850ml hot vegetable stock
● 2 tbsp mascarpone
● 30g grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
● 1 tsp lemon juice
● 1 tbsp chopped parsley, optional, to serve

● Peel and deseed the squash and cut into 3cm chunks. Steam for 10-15 minutes, until tender.
● Cool slightly and puree until smooth. Set aside.
● Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onion for 5-6 minutes, until soft.
● Add the garlic and rice and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes, until the rice is translucent around the edges.
● Add 300ml of the stock and simmer, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed.
● Add a further 300ml stock and cook again, stirring frequently, for another 8-10 minutes, until the rice is almost tender (if you bite into a grain it will still be slightly chalky in the centre) and the stock has been absorbed.
● If the rice is still very under-cooked then add a further 100ml stock and continue to cook, as above, for another 3 -4 minutes.
● Add the squash puree and 100ml stock and cook for 2-3 minutes, until thick.
● Stir in enough of the remaining stock to give a loose, but not runny, consistency then remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone, Parmesan and lemon juice.
● Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with extra Parmesan and sprinkled with chopped parsley, if using.

Annabel Karmel has written 18 books on feeding babies, children and families, including the Complete Family Meal Planner.

Last updated: 11:16am, October 1 2009