I know, I always end up making risotto when Dave has to work late and I’m having dinner myself. This time, I wanted to make my favourite – chilli, sage and lemon risotto, the dish the blog is named after – but I forgot to buy a lemon, so I knew it wouldn’t be quite the same.
I usually make that risotto with green veg, usually asparagus and courgette or peas, but I’ve seen similar recipes using squash, and since I had half a harlequin squash ready-roasted in the fridge (pre-preparing squash this way makes SO MUCH sense) I decided to use that in my risotto.
After a bit of a think about what goes with squash, I decided to make a squash, sage and walnut risotto, a bit inspired by my gnocchi recipe here. It turned out delicious (if quite unhealthy) and I served with a green salad tossed in a sharp dressing, to cut through the slightly stodgy rice.
Obviously this would be really good with fresh sage, so if you’re lucky enough to have some growing, substitute that for the dried I use. I used some leftover cider, but you could use white wine or skip the alcohol entirely and just top up with extra stock.
Walnut and Squash Risotto (serves one at 99p, or £1.17 if you need to buy the cider)
1 small onion 3p
100g arborio risotto rice 22p
100ml cider or white wine (optional – I count as free as it was leftover in my fridge, but if you want to buy some it’d be about 18p for the measure. You can freeze the rest in an ice cube tray)
1/4 small harlequin squash, roasted in a splash of oil until soft and cut into chunks 25p
15g butter 6p
15g parmesan 18p
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil 1p
1/2 tsp dried sage 2p
15g walnuts, chopped 17p
Vegetable or chicken stock, 4-500ml 5p
Heat the oil in one pan and the stock in another. Add the onion to the oil and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Add the rice and sage, stir well to coat in the oil, and cook for a further minute.
Add the cider or wine, if using, and cook until absorbed, stirring well. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, and keep cooking and stirring for around 20 minutes, until the rice is very nearly tender.
Add the chopped walnuts and squash and cook for another couple of minutes, until the rice is done and everything is heated through. Remove from the heat, add the butter and parmesan, and stir vigorously until combined.
Serve with a salad if desired.