a more sophisticated risotto


last week i had supper at zero quattro in wimbledon and was regularly caught sneaking mouthfuls of my friend amanda’s risotto. it was flavoured with goats cheese and it was delicious! they served their risotto with asparagus but, given it’s out of season, i decided to recreate the dish with butternut squash and it was truly delicious. this is a great way to perk up your risotto and make it a little bit special.

risotto with butternut squash and goat’s cheese (serves 2-3)

1 small butternut squash

6 sprigs of thyme

4 tablespoon olive oil

25g butter

1 onion, finely diced

2 large cloves garlic, bashed but left whole

250g arborio rice

100 ml white wine

700ml hot vegetable stock (i make mine with marigold bouillon powder)

150g soft goats cheese

50g grated parmesan

100g smoked pancetta (optional)

peel and deseed the butternut squash. cut into small cubes and mix with a 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper. roast at 200c for c20 minutes until soft. remove the thyme and keep warm in the oven.

melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the onion and garlic. fry over a low heat until the onion is translucent. add the rice and stir, to coat the grains with the butter mix. turn the heat up, add the wine and allow it to boil for a minute or so. add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. as the rice absorbs the stock, add extra until the rice is cooked and the stock has been used up. add the cheeses and roasted butternut squash. mix well and leave to stand for a few minutes. stir in a handful of chopped thyme and remove from the heat.

optional: fry the smoked pancetta until crispy – it will release its own fat so you won’t have to add any oil. serve the risotto topped with the pancetta.