Butternut squash, goats cheese and chorizo risotto

Butternut goats cheese chorizo risotto

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll already know that I have a major thing for chorizo. I just can’t get enough of the spicy, paprika laden stuff. I’m always looking for different ways to incorporate it into otherwise sausage free zones.

Take this humble butternut squash and goats cheese risotto for example – a fine and tasty dish on its own, quite indulgent in fact. Why on earth would i feel the need to invade it with big ol’ hunks of fiery red goodness?

Because the addition of chorizo takes it to a whole new level of yum, that why! The spicy paprika cuts through the creamy sweetness of the butternut squash and earthiness of the goats cheese like a bull in a china shop. It just barges in there and shouts hello, causing delicious chaos in the process.

By all means leave the chorizo out, but know that by doing so, your life will suck beyond all imagination. You have been warned!

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, skin removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium chorizo sausage (aprox 200g), thickly sliced
400g risotto rice
75g butter
300ml white wine
1.5 litres chicken stock
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
200g goats cheese

Method

Preheat your oven to 200˚C. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skin of the butternut squash and cut into 1 inch cubes, discarding the pulpy bit and seeds inside. Scatter the butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes until the squash is soft and is starting to caramelise around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the butternut squash is roasting in the oven, get to work on the risotto. Fist, heat half the butter and a tiny drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan then add in the chopped onion and garlic, frying for 3-4 minutes until the onion begins to soften but not colour. Now add in the risotto rice and stir well to coat it in all the lovely juices and butter from the frying pan. Keep stirring for a minute or two until the mixture starts to look a little dry. At this point add in the  white wine and keep stirring. You want to give the wine a couple of minutes of cooking to burn off the alcohol before adding in the chicken stock very gradually, bit by bit over the next 20 minutes. The best way of doing this is to add a little stick, stir gently and let cook for 3-4 minutes before adding the next little bit of stock and stirring again (all of the pouring and stirring sounds very time-consuming and a bit of a hassle but I promise you that it’ll fly by and is actually very therapeutic).

After 20 minutes, the risotto rice should be lovely and creamy but still have a little bite to it – this is just what we’re after. Stir in the remaining butter for a little bit of extra ooziness before seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now gently fold in the roasted butternut squash – be very gentle and try not to mush it up too much, you just need to heat it through for a minute or two.

While the butternut squash is heating through in the risotto mixture, take a separate small fry pan and chuck in the sliced chorizo to cook for 3-4 minutes. The chorizo has a lot of fat in it so there’s no need to use any oil in the frying pan – the chorizo will release its own. Remove the chorizo from the heat as soon as the edges start to crisp up slightly being really careful not to overcook and burn it.

Stir the cooked chorizo into the risotto then just before serving crumble over the goats cheese. Now, after all that stirring, get stuck in and enjoy.

Serves 4

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