Hubby is the undisputed Risotto King in our house. I have to admit that I don't feel the need to learn how to make a risotto, as his are so superb I just couldn't match them.
This last one, for instance. Goodness me, but each mouthful was a combination of salty, sweet, earthy, cheesiness. Each mouthful is slightly different to another, depending on how much squash you take, or how much goat's cheese you take. It's beyond me how anyone (for instance, on Celebrity Master Chef last night) could find risotto boring. However, it obviously happens - and all I can think is that whatever they've been eating that they found so boring, couldn't possibly have been a true risotto!
The Butternut Squash was roasted in little dice shapes prior to being included in the risotto, which gave it that beautiful smokey flavour. Hubby mashed half of the cooked butternut and mixed it into the risotto to boost the base flavour, but didn't use any of the goat's cheese in the risotto - just sprinkled it over the top with the remaining butternut.
There really is something comforting about a plate of lovely risotto.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & GOAT'S CHEESE RISOTTO (feeds 2)
500g or so of butternut squash, peeled and cut into dice
1 tbsp olive oil
700ml vegetable stock (we used Marigold Vegetable Bouillion)
2-3 small shallots, finely diced
150g arborio rice (or any risotto rice)
150ml white wine
25g finely grated parmesan cheese
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
creamy goat's cheese, sufficient to crumble over, to serve.
1. Heat your oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
2. In a bowl, toss the squash in the oil together with some seasoning. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until it is brown and soft, just caramelised on the edges.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the risotto. In a saucepan, bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer.
3. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the shallots and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir the rice into the shallots until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
5. Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time all the while stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle - which should be less bite, rather than more bite).
6. The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.
7. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave half whole. When the risotto is just done, stir though the purée, then add the parmesan cheese and butter and leave to rest for a few mins.
8. Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash and crumbled goat's cheese.