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.