I like to think of this dish as a little bit of Autumn sunshine in a bowl. It’s bright colour and subtle warmth is a real mood-booster, which is often much needed this time of year. Although, I am at my best (whatever that means) during the Autumn and Winter seasons and love to embrace the pleasures of cosying up indoors, eating hearty meals like this.
The softness of the cooked squash really adds to this risotto’s creaminess, along with the almond milk and nutritional yeast which all combine together to create a delicious cheese-like sauce. I was thinking how it’s perhaps a bit strange that I’ve become much more fond of risottos since I started making them without cheese. Maybe because it’s forced me to become more creative with flavours and textures? Anyhow, I can’t get enough of risottos lately!
To save time for when I next make this (which is hopefully very soon), I pre-chopped a large butternut squash and froze it along with the onion and chilli, so there is no need for prep work. Because when you’re in need of comfort food, you want something that’s quick and easy to make. My future self will thank me for this.
- 1 tbsp olive oil or a few spritz of cooking spray
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 medium red chilli pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Approx 300g butternut squash, diced into 1cm cubes
- 1/2 cup risotto rice
- Approx 480ml / 2 cups low-salt vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp almond milk
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- optional sage leaves to garnish
- Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the onions, chilli and garlic until soft. Add the butternut squash and rice and stir for a minute until well coated.
- Pour in a ladle of the vegetable stock and cook on a medium heat until reduced. Then add a ladle full of stock at a time until the rice absorbs it before adding more. Cook for about 25 minutes or until the risotto becomes al dente. Add more water if needed.
- When the risotto is perfectly cooked, add the nutritional yeast and almond milk. Stir through and season with black pepper, to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!