Roasted Squash and Peas Risotto

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Most people know how to make risotto now. Thanks to all the Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver videos on Youtube, it no longer feels intimidating. I have made it a couple of times and this particular version turned out really nice and close to how its supposed to be – creamy and not gummy.

I used white wine for the first time and definitely saw the difference in taste – you must use white wine!  Also, roasting the squash and not cooking it with the risotto left it with texture and a bite. I didn’t peel the squash to enhance the texture and it really worked. Roasting also brought out the sweetness of the squash. You can use any kind of squash with this recipe. Peas add a little sweetness which blends well with the roasted squash and a punch of color to the overall dish.

I flavored the butter with Saje leaves before even starting the dish and then used some fried Saje leaves for some crunch & flavor and to kind of tie all the flavors together. Use good quality Parmesan cheese and Arborio rice for this recipe. The result will be velvety and luscious risotto!!

Link to Mushroom Risotto (Made in April 2013)

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Serving for 2 people

Ingredients

3/4 cup Arborio Rice

4 to 4 1/2 half cups vegetable broth or water brought to a simmer

1/4 cup white whine

1/3 cup frozen green peas

2 tbs butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup onion, finely diced

1/2 celery, finely diced

2 cups squash of choice, diced into smallish pieces

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

salt

4 to 5 saje leaves

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl add diced squash, 1 tbsp olive oil, paprika, cumin, cayenne and salt and stir to mix well. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and  bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till the squash is cooked through. Do not over bake as that will make the squash turn mushy.
  3. Once the squash is baked, proceed towards making risotto.
  4. In a skillet pan add 1 tbsp of butter along with a drizzle of olive oil. Add 2 saje leaves torn into small pieces. On low heat let the butter melt with the leaves. Cook this on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes or till the saje leaves become fragrant. Remove the leaves from the butter and turn the heat to medium.
  5. Add onions and celery into the pan with a couple pinches of salt and cook till the onions soften and turn translucent.
  6. Add the rice and stir to coat well with the fat in the pan for about a minute.
  7. Add wine and stir to mix well. Continue stirring till all the liquid is evaporated.
  8. Start adding your simmering liquid now (broth or water) a couple ladelfull at a time and keep cooking the rice stirring frequently. Repeat the process till all the liquid has been used up and the rice tastes tender.
  9. Before you add other ingredients into the risotto make sure the consistency of the rice is not too dry. You do want some extra liquid in there to create the sauce.
  10. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, grated parmesan and freshly ground pepper. Stir to mix well.
  11. Gently fold in the peas and roasted squash and taste for seasoning.
  12. Immediately serve on a plate garnished with some grated parmesan and some fried saje leaves.