Winter calls for comfort food and warming bowls of goodness. While I’m partial to a classic mushroom risotto, this recipe is the perfect autumnal dish to get you ready for the festive season. It’s a simple recipe that uses cream cheese instead of hard Italian cheese but is all the more creamy for this very reason! Don’t be disheartened by the lack of parmesan, you can always grate some on top when serving.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 x 350g bag of diced butternut squash (the pack combined with sweet potato works too!)
150g arborio risotto rice (or paella rice)
1 finely chopped medium onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
600ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dried sage
30g full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese
salt and pepper
pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Heat fan oven to 180 degrees celsius and heat an oiled tray
- Once the tray is heated, toss the butternut squash in the oil, season with salt, pepper and half a teaspoon of dried sage. Roast in oven for 20 mins.
- Once this 20 mins is up, shake the squash about in the tray so that they are roasted on either side and return to the oven for another 20 mins. Make your way to the hob and get started on the risotto (preferably in a non-stick pot – I love the Cuisinart range)
- Heat some oil or butter in the pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened
- Mix the rice in with the garlic and onion. Add 300ml of the vegetable stock and simmer on a low heat for approx. 10 mins.
- When the rice has absorbed the stock, give it a good mix and add the remaining 300ml of stock and half a teaspoon of sage. Simmer for another 10 mins.
- Add the philadelphia cheese and mix together until it has melted into the risotto
- Take the roasted butternut squash out of the oven and add to the risotto, mixing it all together so that the flavours infuse with the rice. Simmer for an extra 5 mins.
- Time to serve! Dish this risotto up with some toasted pumpkin seeds and chunky ciabatta