Tastic Butternut & Spinach Risotto
Ciao ciao ciao! Gorgeous Italy draws travellers keen on exploring her stunning scenery, unique culture and with its rich cuisine, this beautiful Mediterranean land offers countless famous must-eat foods and what is a trip to Italy without a warm bowl of comforting risotto?
Time: 40 minutes
Recipe by: Lazy Makoti
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced leeks or onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 sage leaves, chopped
1 cup Tastic risotto rice
2 cups butternut, cubed
2 tbsp white wine vinegar + 1/4 cup warm water (Or ¼ white wine)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2–3 handfuls baby spinach
1/4 cup parmesan
Fried bacon to garnish (Optional)
Begin by placing the butternut on a baking tray. Season and drizzle with oil. Roast in a 180 oven for 30 minutes till tender.
Heat oil in a large pan, add the rinsed leeks and sauté to soften. Add garlic and sage and stir for another 2 minutes till fragrant.
Add the rice and saute 1 minute, stirring to gently toast the rice. Add white wine, and cook this off. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Add stock (enough to cover the rice), stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time, letting the rice absorb it slowly, stirring often over med-low heat, until the rice is plumped, slightly al dente, yet creamy, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in the spinach and add in the roasted butternut at the end. Keep the risotto thick and hearty or add more stock to loosen it up a bit. Add the cheese and stir. Finish off with the chopped bacon (optional)
Toasting the risotto rice makes the grains more compact, preventing them from breaking down as they cook, giving you the perfect texture.