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  • Winter Risotto with Italian Sausage & Squash by Barry Horne

    Winter Risotto with Italian Sausage & Squash by Barry Horne

    (serves 4-6)

    Ingredients:

    400g Carnaroli or Arborio rice

    1.2ltr True Foods Chicken stock

    1 large butternut squash (diced)

    2 Italian sausage 

    2 Hot Italian sausage

    20g fresh sage 

    1 tsp fennel seed

    ½ tsp chilli flakes 

    1 medium onion (finely diced)

    2 sticks of celery (finely diced)

    75ml white wine 

    100g cold unsalted butter (diced)     

    50g grated parmesan cheese

    Olive oil

    Salt and pepper


    Method:

    Preheat oven to 180 degC. Start by dicing the squash into medium size cubes and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add the chilli flakes and fennel seeds.

    Place into the oven for 20-25 mins. Once cooked, mash or blend half of the squash to make a puree and keep the rest to top the risotto at the end.

    To make the crispy sage, heat a good amount of oil in a pan and when hot add the sage leaves in small batches (careful as it might spit a bit). Cook for approx 10 seconds and then remove and drain on some kitchen paper, keep these to one side until it’s time to serve.

    Remove the skins from the sausage and either fry or bake the sausage meat, taking out every few minutes to break up, once cooked remove and keep in a warm place.

    To start the risotto, place the chicken stock in a saucepan and put on a low heat.

    Get a larger based pan on a medium heat and add a small glug of olive oil, add the diced onion and celery and a pinch of salt and cook for 8-10 mins or until the veg is softened, then add the rice and cook for 2-3 mins or until the grains start to look a bit translucent, after this time add the white wine and cook off completely, now it’s time to start gradually adding the stock, ladle by ladle. 

    Keep doing this until the rice is cooked to your liking. I like to keep a little bite to it but if you like it more cooked just add more stock and cook out.

    When the rice is to your liking add the squash puree, butter and parmesan and stir vigorously, season to taste, it should have a loose consistency so you can always get the correct consistency by adding a small amount of stock.

    Now it’s time to plate up, add a nice ladle of risotto onto a plate and level out, sprinkle over the cooked sausage meat, add some cubes of cooked squash, top with crispy sage and then finish with a nice fresh grating of parmesan and a glug of good olive oil and serve.