Butternut risotto is one of my absolute favourite things to cook. Roasting the butternut till caramelised adds extra depth of flavour to the dish and making the butternut into a puree turns this into one of the more luxurious risottos you will have ever eaten. It comes together in just over an hour because of the roasting and risotto stirring time (the only part of making risotto that I don't enjoy). The toppings are optional but the saltiness you get from the bacon along with the tartness from the goats cheese and/or pomegranate seeds take this to another level.
500g Butternut (cubed)
5 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary
2 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
30ml Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 white onion (diced)
1 Celery Finger (diced)
1 Cup Risotto
1 Cup White Wine
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 180C. Mix together 3 garlic cloves, rosemary, 1tsp thyme, chili flakes and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour this marinade over the butternut and spread out on a baking tray before seasoning well with salt & pepper. Roast for 40 minutes in the oven, they should be fork tender and caramelised on the outside.
Once ready add to a blender with the milk and butter and puree till smooth.
Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat and fry the onion, celery and 2 garlic cloves for 2 minutes before adding the remaining tsp of thyme and frying for a further minute.
Add the Arborio rice and toast for 1 minute before deglazing the pan with white wine then spoon the stock in a half cupful at a time whole continually stirring. Add the liquid when most of the previous cup has evaporated but it isn't completely dry.
Keep stirring and adding stock for about 30 minutes or until the rice is just Al dente then add the butternut puree and fold it in well, cook until the rice is fully cooked then add 100g parmesan, turn off the heat and cover with a lid for 5 minutes.
Serve with chopped bacon, goats cheese and/or pomegranate seeds as toppings