Butternut Squash Risotto

This week I made one of my favourite fall recipes - Butternut Squash Risotto. A few years ago while I was still going to school in Victoria, one of my friends introduced me to Jamie Oliver recipes...and I have been hooked on his cookbooks ever since! This recipe was probably one of my first "fancy"meals that I ever conquered...I remember being so intimidated to make it myself, but after lots of practice, I finally feel that it's my own.
1 butternut squash
Red chili flakes
6 tbsp. butter
1-2 handfuls freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a block for grating
Olive oil
a bunch of fresh sage leaves 

1 3/4 pints vegetable stock
2 tbsp. olive oil 
1 tbsp. butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 1/2 cups risotto rice (a.k.a. arborio rice)
1 cup white wine

To roast butternut squash, preheat oven to 400F. Peel, quarter, and discard the seeds. Chop squash into chunks, put into a casserole dish and toss with olive oil, cinnamon, and chili flakes. For a sweeter flavour - add more cinnamon, for a bit of a kick - add more chili flakes. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a large pan on the stove on medium-low heat. In a separate pot heat stock. Add chopped onion to the pan and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently and making sure the onion does not brown. 
Stir in risotto and let it sizzle for a moment. Slowly pour in white wine and stir to mix. 
Once wine is fully absorbed add a spoonful of stock and stir. 
The trick to risotto is to not leave it alone, stir VERY frequently to avoid sticking. Once stock is absorbed, add another spoonful, stir to absorb. Repeat. It is important to maintain a low temperature so that rice cooks slowly and evenly. By the time the squash has finished cooking you should be ready to add it. Add a spoonful of squash to the risotto, along with stock, and gently combine.
Repeat until you have incorporated all of the squash. Test risotto. It should be a little firmer than you will want it. Remove from heat and add butter and parmesan. Stir to combine. 
Put a lid on the pan and leave the risotto to rest while you fry up the sage leaves in another small pan.

Serve and enjoy :)

Recipe adapted from Cook With Jamie by Jamie Oliver


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