Baked Risotto with Butternut, Pine Nuts & Sage

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Baked Risotto with Butternut, Pine Nuts & Sage

This past week we’ve had the most beautiful weather, warm and sunny during the days and only slightly chilly at night. But it seems like the cold front is hitting us and when that happens I need serious comfort food. Risotto is probably one of the most comforting foods out there but unfortunately I don’t always have the patience to stand in front of the stove stirring the pot (even though my friend, Chef to the celebs, Neill Anthony told me that boiling the rice for 8 minutes before making the risotto cuts the time down to almost nothing).

Baked Risotto with Butternut, Pine Nuts & Sage

The thing with baking risotto is that the end result is completely different from traditional risotto. The ooze that happens when you plate up the traditional risotto is not there but instead you get almost a paella kind of thing happening where the bottom of the risotto forms a slight bit of a crust (if you use a metal roasting dish to cook it in). This along with the fact that I don’t have to do anything except stir through some cream half way through is quite appealing to me.

Baked Risotto with Butternut, Pine Nuts & Sage

You can, of course, do this with any flavour imaginable but during Winter, nothing is quite as satisfying as sweet, buttery butternut squash and paired with pine nuts and sage, you can’t go wrong. I roasted the butternut before hand to bring out even more sweetness and add some flavour but you could steam or boil it if you prefer. And keep a few roasted morsels for plating along with some crispy sage and toasted pine nuts!

Serves 4

1 large butternut, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp maple syrup/honey
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
for the risotto
500g arborio or carnaroli rice
1-1.5l chicken stock (I only use 1l but different rice brand cook differently so you might need to add a bit more stock throughout the cooking process)
butternut puree
100ml cream
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
to serve
crispy sage
toasted pine nuts
roasted butternut cubes

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Combine the butternut with the syrup, salt and olive oil in a roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes or until the butternut is soft.
  3. Puree 3/4 of the butternut, keeping some roasted cubes for plating.
  4. Turn the oven down to 180°.
  5. Place the risotto rice in a roasting tray at least 7-10cm deep. Pour in the chicken stock and butternut puree and mix through.
  6. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir in the cream, sage and nutmeg. Place back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
  8. After 40 minutes the rice should be cooked, taste it and if you feel like it needs more cooking place it back in the oven.
  9. When the rice is cooked to your liking, season to taste and serve with crispy sage (fried sage), toasted pine nuts and the reserved butternut.

 

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Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • Imah

    Hey Ally,

    This does look delicious indeed. Have some left over basmati in my cupboard, would this recipe work with such a rice or does it need the starchy arborio

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Imah, You could try it with Basmati but it won’t be the same. The starchy creamyness of the risotto rice adds to the texture here, but maybe try it and let me know?

  • http://www.livetoeat.co.za Live to Eat

    This looks absolutely delicious! So up my street… can’t wait to make it. Love love risotto. And your blog is fab. Bern

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Bern: Thanks so much! :)

      PPD: Pine nuts and sage were just meant to be with Butternut! Just delicious.

      Heidi: Baking risotto is really amazing but it’s completely different to making it the traditional way. I just love it.

      Boababs : Indeed, but for our icy weather, it’s just perfect. :)

      Deborah: I feel exactly the same way!

      Kate, you could omit the cream but I’m not sure how that would affect the end result. I know some of my vegan friends use “nut creams” but I have no idea where they get it or how it’s made. I’m also not too clued up on other non-dairy cream alternatives but perhaps if there’s something like that, you could try using that?

  • http://pinkpolkadotblog.wordpress.com/ PinkPOlkaDot

    It sounds wonderful! I love butternut and I think the pine nuts will just add that extra yumminess!!

  • http://fooddoodles.com Heidi @ Food Doodles

    That looks incredibly delicious! I love risotto but never tried baking it. I’m so curious to see what it’s like! I love the flavorings you’ve used, they sound so yummy :)

  • http://www.julianaloh.com/blog baobabs

    delish!!!! love this dish. perfect for something a little richer for summer.

  • http://play-with-food.blogspot.com Deborah Dowd

    This looks and sounds so good and I love this preparation. Anything that is less trouble is great by me!

  • Kate

    Hi Ally,
    Do you know of a substitute or the ability to leave out the cream for a lactose free menu?
    Thanks!

  • Tamara S

    I made this last night and it was soooo yummy! and it could not of been easier!

  • Lisa Lee

    I made this last night and it was delicious. One thing I would suggest is to spray the roasting pan with a bit of cooking spray before adding the rice and liquid. It makes for a much easier clean up.

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