Easy Cuisine: Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto

by Liz Ryder 

Tis the Season…for comfort food!

This risotto recipe is easy to make and perfect for a wintery evening with friends, as well as a perfect way to make use of one of my fav winter vegetables, the humble Butternut Squash. 

Although this recipe contains bacon, this recipe can easily be made vegetarian by substituting this for more veg (peas and mushrooms both work well!) 

This dish serves 4 people, but can be easily adapted for more! 

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Ingredients

1 onion, chopped 

1 small pack of bacon lardons 

½ butternut squash, diced 

Glass of white wine (optional) 

250g Risotto rice  

1L of veg stock (for a cheaper alternative I just mix boiling water and two vegetable stock cubes) 

½ pack of grated parmesan cheese 

Fresh or dried parsley (optional) 

Equipment

Chopping board, knife, large saucepan, medium saucepan, wooden spoon and a ladle  

Method

1) Add the oil to the pan and fry the bacon lardons on a medium heat for about five minutes. For a healthier alternative I try to use olive cooking spray as the bacon doesn’t really need it! 

2) Add the chopped onion for a few minutes and then add the diced butternut squash. Cook the ingredients until the butternut squash is a little soft. This can often take about 10 mins or so! 

3) Add the rice and stir to make sure that all the rice is coated. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the wine and stir.  

4) Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add the hot water and veg stock together. You want to keep this warm throughout the cooking process so keep the saucepan on a gentle heat.  

5) Once the rice has absorbed the wine, slowly add the vegetable stock one ladle at a time. Keep stirring the risotto until all the liquid has been absorbed before adding more stock. This process can take a while and not all the stock may be needed. I tend to cook the rice for about ½ an hour and then see. 

6) Taste the rice, it should still be a little al dente. Add the grated parmesan and parsley and stir until the cheese has all melted.  

7) Serve and enjoy! 

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