While there are more than a few simple risotto recipes you can follow for a quick Italian feast, we’ve been steering more towards the ostentatious side of the spectrum and this squasage risotto (that’s squash and sausage risotto) turned out to be a beast. The taste combination of the simple mushroom and leek risotto combined with the crispy roasted squash cubes and slices of golden brown sausage is well worth the effort needed to put this one together.
If you’re a little intimidated by the thought of approaching a risotto recipe you really shouldn’t be. With time and a bit of elbow action you can’t really go wrong. It’s just a case of giving it a good going over with your stirring spoon to get it moving towards the creamy risotto texture you might be used to at Italian restaurants. While it’s customary to use finely chopped onion or shallots in a risotto recipe, we’ve found that the sausage and squash work really well with leek as a replacement.
Ingredients (serves 4):
• 4 good quality pork sausages (try any flavour choices to add a bit of variation to the recipe)
• 250g arborio/Italian risotto rice
• 1 squash, peeled and cubed (again you can try different types of squash for slightly different results, but any variety will be fine)
• 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
• 1 leek, sliced
• 7 good sized mushrooms, chopped roughly
• Mixed herbs
• 1tbls olive oil
• A glass of wine or champagne, depending on how decadent you’re feeling
• 1 pint vegetable stock
• A good couple of pinches of salt and pepper to season well
Squasage risotto recipe details:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and throw your sausage and cubed squash into separate baking trays to roast in the top of the oven.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the rice to coat in oil before adding the chopped leek, mixed herbs, garlic and mushroom. Season well and sizzle for a minute or so to start the wilting process for the leek and mushroom and to let the outer coating of the risotto rice crack a little.
3. Add a little of the stock at a time, stirring constantly until each batch has absorbed into the rice. This process should take around twenty minutes, so make sure you remember to check and turn the sausage and squash once half way through and again on your last batch of stock to ensure they roast evenly.
4. Once all of the stock has been absorbed it’s time turn bring in the wine for more pouring and stirring to absorption. This should take an additional 5 minutes, by which time the risotto should be nice and creamy and the sausage and squash crisped to perfection.
5. Grate a little Parmesan cheese into your risotto, stir through and serve with the cubes of squash and slices of the sausage topping it all off.