1 Dec 2010

Risotto for One

My boyfriend and I are currently living apart as we are in the process of moving to another city. He has a job down in Glasgow so has moved down there already while I am still in Aberdeen until we sell the house or I get a job, whichever comes first. This is only our second week apart, and he came to stay for the weekend, but it's still been really tough! Not helped by the fact that his journey back down to Glasgow the first weekend took him around 26 hours instead of 4! Heavy snow meant a lot of roads were closed and hundreds of drivers were stranded in Perth for the night, sadly, my boyfriend was one of them. I normally love snow but I'm really hoping it will stop so we can still see each other at the weekends.
I have to be honest, part of me was quite excited about cooking for one during the weeks and cooking foods my boyfriend doesn't like! Mushrooms and prawns in particular! The other part of me.... well, that part was kind of looking forward to being able to get away with having a couple of bowls of Coco Pops for dinner instead of cooking. Fortunately, the novelty of Coco Pops quickly wore off and I remembered how much I love cooking, plus I had half a butternut squash needing to be used up - I hate throwing away food.

My favourite thing to do with butternut squash is a risotto - well I say this is my favourite but other than soup it's the only thing I've ever done with butternut squash! Risotto's are a pretty frequent occurrence in our house - I always have the basic ingredients to hand: arborio rice, stock in some form, hard cheese and onion as well as a wide selection of herbs and spices. I just add whatever vegetables and or meat we happen to have, but favourites are butternut squash or pumpkin with chorizo or salmon and asparagus. Last night it was butternut squash with chorizo, some tarragon and paprika.

I like to get all my ingredients out before I start, otherwise it's quite likely I'll forget something.
Lemon juice - I just use maybe 1tsp in risotto so bottled is fine fir that
Butternut squash butt - by the time I hacked off the skin and scooped out the seeds this was just right for 1 person.
Pecorino cheese - I don't always weigh but use around 15g and will either have pecorino, padano or parmesan
Knorr vegetable stock pots - I have only ever made my own stock once and somehow got a bit confused with the pot and the sieve and poured all the liquid down the sink. I haven't bothered since. These stock pots are great though, flavour is better the powder or cube I find.
Salt & Pepper

And an onion - I used a sweet onion, it was a bit tasteless, possibly because it was so old....
And not forgetting the arborio risotto rice - 75g per person, with that much butternut squash was plenty.

All chopped up and grated - I actually went a bit overboard with grating the cheese

Some sprays of olive oil to fry the onion and squash in

Fry the veg for a few minutes until it begins to soften

Add boiled water and stock - I add just a little here to cook the squash in

I then add boiled water gradually over 20-30 minutes, just keep going until the texture and consistency is to your taste. I also stir mine, not quite continuously, but a lot!

Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid I top up

And towards the end I add my chorizo, salt, pepper and herbs and spices

My huge bag of paprika, possibly my favourite spice! I buy most of my spices in Indian or Chinese shops as it's a fraction of the price compared to supermarkets.

Once it's done, I stir in the cheese

Heat through and serve

Please let me know if you try this!

What are your favourite risotto flavours?


  1. This looks gorgeous! To be honest, I must have cooked risotto probably only 2 or 3 times but would love to have it more. And this one should do the trick!

  2. Thank you Becky! I never used to be interested in risotto as I thought the were all filled with peas and cream!


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