200g (7oz) butternut squash, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
180g (6oz/scant 1 cup) brown risotto rice
600ml (1 pint/2½ cups) hot vegetable stock made with 1 tbsp bouillon powder
1 handful of sage leaves, chopped, plus whole leaves to garnish
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Remember to stir stir stir this risotto, as that is what will make it super-creamy and rich. The stirring of the dish is almost therapeutic and meditative after a busy day, and it’s well worth the time and effort.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Place the diced butternut squash on a baking tray (cookie sheet), drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, until nearly tender.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a wide-bottomed pan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes, until softened. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to coat the rice in oil, then reduce the heat and stir in 2 large ladlefuls of stock. Simmer, stirring gently, over a low heat until the rice has absorbed the stock, then continue adding the stock a ladleful at a time and stirring gently until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful.
After 30 minutes stir in the butternut squash and the chopped sage leaves, then continue to add the stock until the rice is cooked but al dente – this will take about 50 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.