Modern twists on time-honoured favourites.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & CAVOLO NERO RISOTTO
What do you need
- [ ] 320g Riso Gallo Risotto Traditional
- [ ] 30g grated Grana Padano
- [ ] 1 onion (finely chopped)
- [ ] 25g unsalted butter
- [ ] 1 litre vegetable stock (easily done with the onion and squash trimmings)
- [ ] 100ml dry white wine
- [ ] 1 butternut squash (or pumpkin)
- [ ] 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- [ ] 2 garlic cloves
- [ ] 1 small bunch of thyme
- [ ] 150g cavolo nero
- [ ] 15g toasted walnuts
- [ ] Salt and pepper (to taste)
Proposed by: Danilo Cortellini
How to prepare:
A creamy, wintery risotto using the Risotto Traditional rice from sustainable agriculture by Riso Gallo. This versatile product is of the highest quality and can be used for a large variety of recipes, including tasty risotto.
Butternut squash differs from pumpkin as it is more delicate and less sweet, therefore it’s the perfect accompaniment for the ever so trendy (and tasty) cavolo nero, aka Italian kale. This dark kale is packed with nutrients and minerals, and gives its best when lightly charred on a hot pan.
If you ask me, this combo of colourful healthy veggies with sustainable Italian grains and buttery nuts makes the perfect guilt free cosy night!
Peel and cut the butternut squash into slices ½ cm thick to prepare the puree. Place the slices on a baking tray and pop them in the oven at 160° with a drizzle of oil, a few sprigs of thyme and a crushed garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper and cover with foil. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the squash is soft.
When ready, remove the garlic and thyme sprig and blend the butternut squash into a smooth puree. You can optionally keep a few slices whole for garnish.
Rinse the cavolo nero and discard the woody stalks. Cut into 5 cm long. Pan fry the cavolo with a drizzle of olive oil, a crushed garlic clove and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 6/7 minute or until it has softened enough. Keep warm.
For the risotto
Gently fry the chopped onion in a small casserole with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt for about 6/7 minutes on low heat until golden.
In a large casserole, start to dry toast the rice on low heat with a pinch of salt, without adding oil or fat. In this way, the heat reaches the core of each rice grain resulting in a more uniform al dente rice. Keep stirring the rice, so the rice does not catch on the bottom of the pan or burn. When the rice is very hot, pour the wine in. Let the alcohol evaporate, set the cooking time to 16 minutes and add the simmering stock a ladle at a time, little by little. Stir the rice occasionally, and keep cooking. Do not over stir with too much energy as it could break the rice grains.
You can now add the cooked onion and halfway through the cooking, start adding the squash puree.
Once the time is up, taste the risotto and if you’re happy with the texture remove it from the heat.
This step is called “mantecatura” to make the risotto creamier increasing its natural ooziness with the right gesture and movements.
Add the grated Grana Padano cheese and butter to the rice. Stir to incorporate extra air until the risotto is nice and creamy. Season to taste.
Plate the hot risotto straight away, top with the charred cavolo nero and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.