We all know that autumn and risotto blend nicely, but when squash is added to the mix (fried first!) and a pinch of sage, then we get our favourite risotto.
“Autumn Spoonful” is our name for this classic blend of earthly tastes and aromas that seem to comfort us on our way towards winter. And last but not least, creamy texture of this dish will provoke that “hmm-mm” that we really love to hear at the table (especially if we cooked the feast).
LITTLE CHEF & LITTLE MARKET: FRIED SQUASH AND SAGE RISOTTO
Risotto is a simple dish with great history, and when you invest time and respect it deserves you will not be disappointed. Italian cuisine has wealth of traditions, directives, and techniques that evolved to perfection in grandmothers kitchens – nobody is indifferent to that – and risotto is beyond a doubt one of the dominant and exquisite representatives.
Autumn Spoonful, that’s my name for this classic blend of comforting, earthly tastes that will warm you up during days that are getting colder.
One of the main risotto advantages is its versatility. You can prepare it with meat, seafood, seasonal produce, and to make it really nicely you just need to use short grain rice. During cooking, Italian arborio and carnaroli rice slowly absorb liquids while releasing starch, making risotto creamy and so tasty. Another key risotto ingredient is broth that is being added slowly while constantly stirring.
squash and sage risotto is one of my favourites, and tastes and smells of this dish loudly scream “autumn!” This ubiquitous Italian dish during autumn and winter days offers the perfect balance of sweet and salty, and its earthly aroma and creamy texture will literally make you take your shoes off.
Italians even have names for different stages of risotto cooking. Tostatura – frying rice in olive oil before adding liquids; sfumare – adding alcohol into heated ingredients; and the last step – mantecature – adding butter and cheese at the very end to make it all creamy.
FRIED SQUASH AND SAGE RISOTTO
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 TO 5 PERSONS: (all produce by My Sweet Greens / OPG Hursa)
30 g butter
2 spoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
280 g arborio rice
200 ml dry white wine
1 litre of vegetable broth (if you don’t have homemade broth use stock cube)
1 small butternut squash
small fistful of fresh sage
100 g Parmesan cheese
150 g Mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
1. Stew onion until softened on butter and 1 spoon of olive oil, add finely chopped garlic and make sure that does not burn. Add rice and fry it constantly mixing for 1 to 2 minute until translucent.
2. Add wine and let it boil. Then reduce heat and cook until wine is reduced to 2/3.
3. Add around 1 cup of broth and let it reduce before adding next cup. Cook rice this way for 15 minutes.
4. In the meantime heat another spoon of olive oil on mid-heat and fry squash cubes for 10 to 12 minutes, until softened and golden-brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Chop sage and mix into risotto together with fried squash, chopped Mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese. Turn the heat off and let the cheese melt. Add spices of your choice and butter cube.
6. Serve without delay.
Recipes, styling & photo: Little Chef
Ingredients: Little Market
Little Chef spins the cooking spoon and new recipes are there – next creation from our little kitchen is coming soon.
Enjoy your meal! Little Chef and Little Market wish you happy taste buds!