Recipe – Bacon and Butternut squash risotto

So it got to 6pm on Tuesday night and I’d given no thought to dinner…I had a squash from my Riverford box which needed using up before Thursday when I get more veg and I’d completely forgotten to get any meat out of the freezer to thaw…I did have some streaky which needed using up though…so the dream of a bacon and squash risotto was born!

However, even with the use of Mr B’s new iPhone, I couldn’t find a recipe which I liked so I kind of made it up as I went along using things from my fridge and it seemed to actually work…well Mr B did a very good job of pretending it went well anyway!

Butternut squash risotto

Butternut squash risotto

Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto
Serves 4

4 rashers of streaky bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g arborio rice
750ml chicken stock
150ml white wine
1/2 butternut squash, deseeded
8 sage leaves
20g parmesan, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6
2. Put the squash in an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and season.
3. Put in the oven to roast for 25-30 minutes.
4. Put the stock and wine in a saucepan along with the sage leaves, warm to just below boiling and keep on a low heat.
5. Fry the bacon in a frying pan until crisp, set aside on kitchen towel to absorb the fat.
6. Add a little olive oil to the frying pan along with the onion and garlic, fry until softened.
7. Add the arborio and stir to coat all grains, do this for about 1 minute.
8. Add two ladles of the stock to the rice and stir to combine. I find that you can add the stock in larger quantities and still achieve a nice creamy risotto just with a little less effort!
9. Continue adding the stock a couple of ladles at a time, stirring to combine each time and ensure that you keep the rice moving enough so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
10. The rice should be done (soft but with a nice bite) before you have used up all the stock, roughly 15 minutes of cooking time, ensure some of the stock is reserved for the puree.
11. Remove the risotto from the heat.
12. The squash should now be soft, remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and scoop out the flesh.
13. Put the flesh, about a tablespoon of stock and some salt and pepper into a small blender and blend till smooth – you can also mash this but blending is so much easier.
14. Chop the bacon into small crouton sized bits.
15. Put the rice back onto a very low heat and add the puree, stir through to combine, add the parmesan and season generously. Add a little more stock if it becomes too gloopy.
16. Serve in bowls with a nice topping of crispy bacon and grated parmesan.

I completely forgot to do this but I think this would be wonderful with a poached egg on top, let me know if you try it!

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