Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 60-70 mins (including roasting time)
Serves: 2

1 cup Arborio or other Italian risotto rice
1 small Onion, finely chopped
2 medium Garlic cloves, finely chopped
¾ - 1 litre Vegetable Stock, heated
¼ cup White Wine (Optional)
1-2 tbsp Butter
1-2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Small handful of fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
A pinch of Saffron
Cheddar or Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Black Pepper Powder to taste

For Roasted Butternut Squash:
½ medium Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into ½ inch cubes
1 tsp Dried Italian Herbs
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper Powder to taste
Preheat oven at 200 degree Celsius/400 degree Fahrenheit/Gas mark 6. Line a backing tray with aluminium foil and keep it aside. Take all the ingredients listed for roasted butternut squash in a large bowl and mix well. Spread them in a baking tray and pop it into the oven and let it roast for 10 mins till it roasted well. After 10 mins, open the oven and take out the baking tray and gently toss the butternut squash pieces and roast again for 10-15 minutes till it is cooked through. Keep it aside until needed.
Heat 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan and add finely chopped onion and garlic. Sauté till they turn translucent.
Now add Arborio rice and stir it for a minute till every grain is coated with oil. Pour in a good ladle of hot stock and the white wine, if using, and stir continuously until it has cooked into the rice. Turn the heat down so the stock is simmering gently.
Keep adding ladles of stock as it cooks into the rice, stirring the rice continuously. Add salt and pepper to taste along with a knob of butter and good pinch of saffron in the halfway. It will take about 15-20 minutes for the rice to become soft but still have a bit of bite left in it. Remember that the texture of the risotto should be thick and creamy, but not runny. Add extra stock if necessary. It may seem tedious standing and stirring but the end result will be worth it.
Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir the roasted butternut squash and finely chopped coriander leaves into the risotto with the parmesan or cheddar cheese and the remaining butter. Adjust the seasoning and add any extra stock if the risotto seems particularly thick. Cover the pan with a lid for a couple of minutes as this will give the risotto an even creamier texture.
Serve this delicious, creamy Risotto topped with extra gratings of cheese and enjoy this creamy delight.

Labels: Arborio Rice, Butternut Squash, Crabby Bites, Italian, Rice