It’s autumn. I love autumn. I love the colours, I love the crisp mornings, I love the falling leaves, I love the Pumpkin Spiced life and I love the food. Tis the season for all things Squash and I bloomin love it. You know what else I love? Carbs. And thus my beautiful Seasonal Squash and Sage Risotto graced this world once again.
I used to make this risotto quite a lot at Uni, particularly in first and second year, for me and my vegetarian pal. It always seemed rather luxurious – a warm bowl of comfort that was both filling, easy and pretty cheap. While at Uni I obviously didn’t have fresh sage to hand, but I did buy some dried stuff that cost about £1 and probably lasted me at least a year. However, when I made this yesterday I had the luxury of using fresh sage from my Dad’s garden and I have to say it was really really lovely. But either way, if you go with fresh or dried this bowl of yumminess is great. My mum doesn’t normally like risotto, but I can confirm she really enjoyed this and I’m pleased to say I changed her opinion of risotto 🎉 Anyway, without further ado, here is my seasonal squash risotto. (Makes about 4 portions – doesn’t freeze particularly well but is fine in the fridge for a few days and reheats well).
⁃ 1 Small squash (this can be pumpkin, BNS or whatever you can get your mitts on – to be fair I have no idea what type mine was, but it was about 70p from Aldi!)
⁃ 1tbsp butter
⁃ One onion
⁃ 3 big leaves fresh sage or 2 tsp dried sage
⁃ 300g Arborio rice
⁃ 1.5l stock
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
3. Dice the squash, taking out the pithy middle bit. Cut into about 1.5cm chunks. Whack in the oven with some oil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until soft and slightly darkened around the edges.
4. Meanwhile, finely slice the onion. Add to a large pan along with the butter. Once bubbling, add the fresh sage leaves in whole. Allow to bubble away while the onions soften.
5. Once the onions are soft, take out he sage leaves and put to one side. Pour in the rice and give it a stir to coat in the butter. Leave to cook for a couple of minutes until the edges of the rice have gone translucent.
6. Add the stock in a ladle at a time and let it absorb before adding in the next one. I would recommend stirring it continuously as this is what helps make it super creamy. Grab yourself a chair and park it next to the stove if you’re lazy like me.
7. Once all the liquid is absorbed (should take about 25-30 mins), you’ll know it’s almost ready if you draw a spoon through it and it stays parted for two or three seconds.
8. Once the squash is ready, mash half of it and put the rest to one side. Add the mashed squash to the pan, along with your dried sage, or chop up your fresh sage and add that too. (I used a combo of the two).
9. Season with black pepper and stir in as much Parmesan as you fancy. Serve up with the rest of the squash on top and an extra sprinkling of Parmesan.