This creamy risotto has a lovely kick from the chilli and coriander seeds which makes it a perfect winter warmer. It's a winner at dinner parties and to give it an extra special feel you can add some roasted sage and chestnuts.
Apart from being delicious, the thing I really love about this recipe is that the butternut squash does not need to be peeled, a task that often puts me off cooking butternut squash.
Ingredients 1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
500g risotto rice
2 wine glasses dry white wine
90g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 large butternut squash
1 level tablespoon coriander seeds
2 small dried chillis, roughly chopped
1 level tablespoon black peppercorns
12 slices prosciutto
100g vacuum packed chestnuts
12 sage leaves (2 per person)
Small tub mascarpone cheese
Pre heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Take prosciutto out of fridge to get to room temperature as it's much easier to handle when not chilled.
Line a baking tray with foil ready for roasting the butternut squash.
Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Cut the butternut squash into half inch thick slices.
Place the chopped chilli, black peppercorns and coriander seeds into a pestle and mortar and bash them up.
Give it a good bash
Place the sliced butternut squash on the baking tray, coat with olive oil and then dust the coriander, pepper and chilli mix over the top and use your hands to make sure all the butternut squash is coated.
It's ok to pack the slices quite tightly
Place the tray in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
Heat the stock in saucepan and keep on a low heat.
Add a dash of olive oil to a heavy bottom pan and warm through. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook on a low heat until soft; do not brown the onion.
Add the rice and turn up the heat. Keep stirring to avoid the rice sticking.
After a minute to two, the rice will begin to look translucent. At this time add the wine and keep stirring.
Once the rice has absorbed the wine it's time to start adding the stock. Turn the heat down low so the rice is simmering.
Keep stirring for creamy rice
To get the best results, add a ladle of stock at a time and stir the rice as it absorbs the liquid. If you run out of stock, use some boiled water. This will take about 25 minutes.
While the rice is cooking the butternut squash will be ready.Take it out the oven and cover with the prosciutto. This is the time to add sage leaves and vacuum packed chestnuts if desired. Place back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
It's ok if the slices overlap a little
Remove the butternut squash and prosciutto from the oven. Put the prosciutto to one side and chop the butternut squash. I like to have a mix of almost mashed butternut squash and some nice chunks.
Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and leave to stand for two minutes with a lid on. *Add the Parmesan cheese and butternut squash. Give it a good stir.
Serve the rice and add two pieces of prosciutto to the top and a nice dollop of mascarpone cheese. *Sprinkle with sage and chestnuts if using.