Risotto is a classic Italian dish; loved and cooked in Italy since the 1800’s, it’s now a world wide favourite. A lot of people think the creamy consistency of risotto comes from adding cheese, but in fact it’s produced by adding the stock gradually. As you add it bit-by-bit the rice rubs together to release the starch, creating a perfect, rich consistency. So, lucky for us plant-powered eaters, risotto is incredibly vegan friendly!
This particular recipe is one of my favourite types of risotto; the flavour combinations work so well together and is set off by the sage added towards the end. Plus, any excuse to cook with wine is a good thing, right?!
Butternut Squash, Sage & White Wine Risotto
- 1 x butternut squash
- olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 x garlic cloves, minced
- 100ml dry white wine
- 250g risotto rice
- 1ltr vegetable stock (plus more if needed)
- small handful fresh sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 200c. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle some olive oil over both halves, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven for around 40 minutes, or until the flesh becomes soft.
- While the butternut squash is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking for around 5 minutes until the onion starts to gain some colour.
- Add the white wine and let this cook for around 10 more minutes, or until the wine has reduced significantly.
- Add the risotto rice and stir to coat it and let this fry for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously. Add the vegetable stock 200ml at a time, letting the rice cook for 5 minutes and adding more as you need it, until the rice has fully cooked. This usually takes between 20 – 30 minutes.
- When the butternut squash is done and the rice is just about there, slice the squash and scoop out the flesh. Add it to the risotto and stir to combine, along with a small handful of chopped, fresh sage.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with vegan Parmesan if desired (it’s also pretty good stirred in to the risotto)