Butternut Squash Risotto
A Berlingieri Easter special, from me to you.
1 Butternut Squash
3 Cloves of Garlic
100ml of Milk
200ml of White Wine
3 Large Knobs of Butter
300g of Risotto Rice
1l of Vegetable Stock
60g of Parmesan
12 Sage Leaves
Handful of Pine Nuts
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Peel the butternut squash, cut it in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Separate the seeds from the stringy bits and lay them out on a baking tray. Season the seeds with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast the seeds for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Set aside for serving, or eat them as a snack while you cook!
Meanwhile, cut the butternut squash into cubes and steam for 10 minutes until soft. Allow the cooked squash to cool for 5 minutes and then add it to a blender with your milk and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside for later.
Finely chop your onion and garlic. Melt one knob of butter and a splash of olive oil in a large pan on medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before tipping in the rice. Stir the rice through the onions and garlic until coated and shiny. Pour in the wine and simmer until reduced. Take turns between adding a ladle of stock and a ladle of puréed squash one at a time as it cooks into the rice, stirring consistently over low heat for 20-25 minutes. The risotto should be al dente and creamy.
Towards the final minutes of cooking, fry your sage and pine nuts in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. The sage should be crispy and the pine nuts golden brown, but keep an eye on the pan as both can burn quickly.
Grate the parmesan, saving a couple of handfuls for garnish, and stir it into the risotto with the remaining knobs of butter and a good amount of salt and pepper to taste. Leave it to rest for a couple of minutes before serving with a scattering of crispy sage leaves, toasted pine nuts and parmesan. Serve the squash seeds on the side if desired.