Butternut Squash Risotto by Muma Dean

Ok so I'm sure people would be up in arms about me calling this risotto when I haven't even used aborrio rice and slowly added the stock a ladle at a time, but lets get real... I've got three kids, a farm and a charity to run... Time is not on my side!

The beauty of this dish is the ease as a weekday meal. Although I've used bacon and chicken stock you can obviously make it veggie by omitting the bacon and using veg stock. You can also use whatever strength cheese you want from mild to vintage. It actually makes a really good baby food if you omit the bacon and use a weak stock or just water so as to reduce the salt content – Ideal for baby led weaning!

This is for 5 people but it's easy to adjust, it's also great cold and I tend to make extra for pots in the freezer and for packed lunches.

2 onions, diced up
A pack of bacon chopped into little pieces
A medium sized butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubed chunks, or there abouts
500g basmati rice
1.5l stock, chicken or veg
250g of cheddar cheese

Soften the onions in a little oil and a knob of butter in a big pan with the lid on – lowest heat. Soften them really well. Add the bacon and continue on a low heat for another 10 mins or so while you chop up the squash. Add the squash and soften that for a good while. I'm not sure how long, maybe about 20 mins, but basically until the squash cuts easily but is still in proper cubes.

Add the rice, stir it around and when it's warm add the stock – yes, all in one go, shock horror!

Stir and bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and simmer gently for around 12-15 mins. It takes longer than it would to cook just as plain rice.

Once the rice is cooked take it off the heat and stir through the cheese.

Serve with a green salad and be warned... it's easy to over eat!

Obviously, you could do this “properly” with Arborio rice and adding the stock slowly, worth doing if entertaining friends, in which case I would suggest switching half the stock for white wine. But I do it like this as a family weekday meal and the kids love it!

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