Transform a Simple Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Parma Ham & Toasted Walnuts

Serves 6 as a Starter, 4 as a Main

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Full Recipe in Details

STARTING GUIDE
  • Cooking Level: Easy

  • Category: Main (or starter), Vegetarian

  • Prep Time: 25 mins

  • Cooking Time: 20 mins

  • Total Time: 45 mins

  • Servings:  4 generous helpings

INGREDIENTS
  • 100ml Olive Oil

  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • Salt and Pepper

  • 300g Arborio Rice

  • Some Palma Ham (optional)

  • Roasted Walnuts (optional)

  • 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock

  • 6tbs Parmesan, freshly grated

  • 3tbs mascarpone

  • 1 butternut squash

  • 70gm butter, cut into small cubes

  • Chilli Flakes (optional)

METHOD / INSTRUCTIONS
  • Peel and dice a whole butternut squash.

  • Melt 150gms butter (you can use less if you are very conscious about calories!) in a pan and add the squash.

  • Cook without colouring for at least 15 mins over a medium heat until the squash is very soft.

  • Cool a little then whiz in a blender until smooth.

  • Scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod and stir into the puree with lots of salt and pepper

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sweat the shallots for about 5 minutes, be sure to stir them regularly so they don’t colour.

  • Add the rice and cook, stirring for a minute or two.

  • Pour in a ladle or two of stock and let it simmer slowly stirring occasionally until almost all absorbed – then add a little more until all the stock is used up. Don’t rush … the process should take about 16/18 minutes.

  • You can test the rice to make sure its al dente.

  • Stir in the Parmesan, mascarpone and squash puree then add the butter cubes and season to taste.

  • This is a lovely dish to serve with a roast and freezes well. You can add as much as you like to your risotto.

  • To make your dish extra special you can add some toasted or roasted walnuts and some Parma ham that’s been roasted in the oven until crisp – adding a few chilli flakes also gives an extra kick. You could also top with some roasted, diced butternut squash for extra texture and colour!