Butter squash and sage risotto

I love simple dishes such as this one. Fresh sage is one of my favourite winter herbs and here, it gives not only the most amazing aroma but also crunchiness. It goes so well with sweet and creamy butter squash for one yummy risotto.

Returning to basics is somewhat comforting, specially after the festive season. As much as I love holidays, being out of my regular eating routine can be draining. So for the past few years I try to keep all those rich festive deliciousness to the minimum and really, just try as much as I can to maintain my regular eating habits. Speaking of which, risotto is not. It’s rarely on my menu so when making it I try to keep it minimal and bring out the best of flavours using fresh herbs and ingredients to add creaminess to it.

I use basmati parboiled rice, which is easier to digest and I love its delicate aroma. Besides, it cooks extremely easy and fast which is what I’m looking for after usually spending hours in the kitchen during the holidays. And to save some more time, freeze some diced butter squash that you can just pop in, no boring pealing, cutting, chopping. And in some 20 minutes you’ll have a perfectly fragrant and creamy comfort food on your table.

Ingredients you’ll need for 4 servings:

  • 250g white basmati parboiled rice
  • about 500g diced butter squash
  • 150g pumpkin seeds
  • fresh sage leaves
  • salt, pepper, olive oil

Let’s cook:

Made with basmati, this is not the traditional risotto making process, so first cook the rice. Rinse and drain the rice, than cover with about 1/2L water or veggie broth, put the lid on and boil on a medium heat until the liquid has all gone. Important thing when making basmati is to cover it with double amount of water (1cup of rice = 2 cups of water), cover it and do not touch it while cooking, just leave it be, it gets cooked pretty quickly.

And while the rice is boiling, preheat some olive oil in a pan. Add sage leaves and fry until crunchy than take it out of the pan. The oil will turn into one fragrant goodness ready for the rest of the ingredients. Which are pumpkin seeds, pop them in first, give them a little fry and stir and follow with diced squash. If needed add a tiny amount of water and fry and stir until the squash becomes tender which is again a matter of minutes. Do all of this on medium heat.

Still frying, bring back the sage leaves, than pour in the rice, mix all well, add salt and pepper and give the rice a few more minutes to soak up all the flavours.

And that’s all, you are ready to enjoy this aromatic risotto dish.


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