Friday, 19 March 2010

Squash Risotto with Goats Cheese and Crispy Sage

I have never made a risotto before and so I am having a bash at one for tonight's tea. Yes I have had various forms of risotto at posh restaurants but never at home. And even if I don't get it quite right at least it will be work in progress and another different type of meal to add to my repertoire.

So here goes nothing. I am shortly about to start and will report back later on.

The recipe I am using comes from the River Cottage Veg Patch book by Mark Diacono.


900ml vegetable stock
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 sage leaves finely chopped about 2 tablespoon
1-2 garlic cloves chopped
250g arborio rice
small glass white wine
375g squash or pumpkin peeled weight diced small

To finish
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
about 16 sage leaves
75g piece of Parmesan or Pecorino (or tasty cheddar)
2 Goats cheese logs (Mini ones not big ones)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the stock in a pan until almost boiling and then keep hot over a very low heat.

In a heavy based saucepan sweat the onion in the olive oil until soft but not browned about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the chopped sage and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the rice and stir to coat the grains with the oil then add the wine and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Pour in about a third of the hot stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until almost all the stock has been absorbed stirring regularly but not all the time. Add the squash or pumpkin and a little more stock and continue to simmer gently stirring occasionally until the stock has been absorbed. Continue to add more stock a little at a time until the pumpkin is soft and the rice is nicely al dente.

You may not need all of the stock, the texture of the finished risotto should be loose and creamy. I add one log of goats cheese at this point pinched into smallish pieces and to melt into the risotto mixture.

When it is almost ready heat the sunflower in a small pan and fry the whole sage leaves fora few seconds until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

Now its time for the final stage that adds so much of the creaminess to the dish. Stir in the butter and the grated cheese and season well adding slices of the goats cheese to the dish stir through until meltingly gooey. Divide between serving bowls and throw a few crispy sage leaves over each portion. Grate the rest of the cheese over the bowls of risotto Serves 4

Wasn't too bad for a first attempt, tasty and very filling. OH had one complaint it had no meat in it! Men!

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