People – I just love risotto, or any Italian food for that matter, but especially risotto. It is not by accident that this is already my second risotto recipe in just a few months. Brace yourselves – there are many more to come!
This recipe is originally from ‘Feast with Sababa’ although I’ve tweaked it slightly by adding white wine (amongst other things). In my view all risotto should have wine! This risotto is great, because you don’t need to stir the liquid in one ladleful at a time – the rice to liquid ratio is already all figured out for you. If toward the end of the cooking time the rice is still too crunchy just add a little more water. Remember, though, that the rice should still have a very slight crunch to it at the end, you don’t want to end up with a mushy mess.
Another convenient aspect to this recipe is the fact that we have access to affordable, quality pre-chopped vegetables in South Africa. So a 500g bag of butternut and another of sweet potato from your favourite retailer saves all the hassle of peeling and chopping and speeds up the preparation time.
What I think really takes this risotto to the next level is the melted butter and toasted almonds spooned over at the end. It gives the dish a glorious nuttiness and an edge of luxury. This is comfort food at its best.
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 25min
Serves: Technically this serves 6, but really you only want to share it between four.
– Onion x1, chopped
– Garlic x2 cloves, crushed
– Butter (a knob)
– Butternut 500g, peeled and cubed
– Cinnamon x1 tspn
– Sweet potato 500g, peeled and cubed (into 1cm cubes)
– Arborio rice x2 cups
– White wine 250ml
– Vegetable stock x2 tspn
– Water 500ml
– Strong flavoured cheese x200g grated (parmesan or mature cheddar)
– 100g salted butter
– Flaked almonds x2 tbsn
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 C.
2. Arrange your butternut on a baking tray. Pour over some olive oil, salt, pepper and the cinnamon. Make sure all the butternut is evenly coated. Bake in the oven for 20min or until cooked through.
3. Put a large enough saucepan onto a medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil and the knob of butter and heat until the butter is melted.
4. Fry the onion and the garlic in the butter and oil until soft and translucent.
5. Add the arborio rice and stir to ensure all the rice is coated in the butter and oil.
6. Add the white wine.
7. Once all the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add the vegetable stock and water. At this point also add the sweet potato. Stir to ensure everything is well combined and bring to a simmer. Pop the lid on and cook for 15min or until the rice and sweet potato are cooked.
8. While the rice is cooking turn to the butter sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, scooping off as much of the white foam which rises to the top as you can. Once the butter has turned a light nutty brown add the flaked almonds for a few minutes until they start to colour then turn off the heat. Make sure you don’t take the butter too far as it turns bitter when it starts to burn.
9. Once your rice is cooked, turn off the heat then add the grated cheese and stir through. At this point also add seasoning to taste.
10. Dish the risotto into bowls and top with your deliciously caramelised roast butternut and the butter sauce.