Butternut Squash, Chorizo and Asparagus Risotto

As I’m sure you can tell from my recipe archive, pasta is one of my all-time favourite dishes. I love all types of pasta in all shapes and sizes, but for me risotto is queen of them all!

What I love about risotto is that once you have mastered a basic recipe, this can then become your base to get creative – trying all kinds of different flavour combinations and ideas.

My usual risotto recipe is a spicy red pepper, chilli, tomato and pancetta, but I fancied trying something different. Hence this recipe was born! Even though this was the first time I’ve tried this particular combo, it worked a treat and was very successful with my flatmate!

Hope you enjoy it too 🙂

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 175-200g arborio rice
  • 2 white onions finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 large glass white wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 200-250g cubed chorizo
  • 1 small or ½ large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1 inch long pieces, removing the woody ends
  • 50g butter
  • 50g grated parmesan cheese

Method:

Peel and cube your butternut squash and place on a large roasting tray with a covering of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a fan oven at 180 degrees celsius for 30 minutes until cooked and tender.

photo 1 (1)

Whilst the butternut squash is cooking you can start the risotto!

Put a large non-stick saucepan or frying pan on the heat to warm up whilst you finely chop your onions and garlic. Add a glug of olive oil to the pan and brown the onions, garlic and cubed chorizo for a couple of minutes.

Once nicely browned, add the risotto rice and stir constantly for another couple of minutes until the rice becomes translucent. Add the wine and stir until it’s nearly all absorbed.

At this point you need to make sure the heat is set so it’s simmering moderately (but not to vigorously!). Have your litre of vegetable stock at the ready and add one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until the majority of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. N.B. The consistency once absorbed should be thick and sticky.

This process will take around 20-30 minutes and can be quite tough on the arm – but don’t give up, the end result is worth it!

(Test the rice after about 20 minutes to see if cooked through and soft – if it is not soft when you have used up all the stock then make up some more to add.)

Once the butternut squash is ready, add this to the risotto mixture along with the asparagus, and cook for another 5 or so minutes until the asparagus is tender.

Risotto (2)

Once you are certain all the excess liquid is absorbed and everything is fully cooked through, take the risotto off the heat and stir through the parmesan and butter, along with a generous grinding of salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly until the butter and cheese is totally melted and incorporated into the risotto.

Risotto 3

Serve in nice big pasta dishes and enjoy with a nice glass of vino! 😀 Yumbola!

Bon Appetit!

Bon Appetit!

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Home-made Ravioli

We both absolutely love pasta, especially when its home-made and fresh!

One evening we decided to use Will’s new pasta machine he got for his birthday and make some ravioli for our dinner 🙂

Ingredients:

Pasta:

  • 200g OO pasta flour
  • 2 eggs

Filling:

  • about 50g chorizo
  • 1 large red sweet pointed pepper OR a couple Karyatis roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp chipotle
  • squirt of tomato paste

Method:

First of all make the pasta, put the flour on a clean surface, making a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well, then work around slowly with your fingers to incorporate the flour bit by bit until you have a firm ball of dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Whilst your dough is in the fridge, chop up all the ingredients for the filling into small pieces. Add to a saucepan over a medium heat, reducing to a thick sauce. Once ready, take off the heat and leave to cool a little while you roll the pasta.

When the dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, split into two even sections, and when your pasta machine is ready, roll out the first dough ball a little and start feeding  through the machine on the highest setting, lowering the setting and folding the dough over until you have a long, thin strip. (It’s best to have pasta as thin as possible without breaking when making ravioli). Once completed, do the same with the second dough ball until you have two similar size long sheets of pasta.

Lay one pasta sheet on top of a surface (sprinkled with flour so it doesn’t stick!) and cut off any uneven edges, then add small spoonfuls of your filling along the sheet, making sure you leave a decent gap between each spoonful:

Will in deep concentration...

Will in deep concentration…

Once complete, circle each spoonful of filling with a little water (and by little, I mean stick one finger in a glass of water – that will be enough per couple of spoonfuls) and then place your second sheet carefully on top.

This is where it’s handy if there are two of you – as one can hold the top sheet whilst the other presses down around each spoonful of filling to make sure there are no air bubbles, and make sure the two sheets are stuck together properly.

When happy with this, carefully cut out your desired shapes! You can either use a cake/pastry cutter for this, or create your own shapes with a knife, we decided to make both squares and circles 😛

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

If any edges seem to be parting, you can secure with a little more water and press together. Bring a pan of water to the boil (with a little salt in) and carefully (ideally using a slotted spoon) place the ravioli pieces into the boiling water. They only need a couple of minutes, fresh pasta cooks very quickly! When the parcels rise to the surface and look soft they will be ready – this should be within 2-3 minutes.

Take your parcels out (again carefully with a slotted spoon to avoid any of them splitting) and divide between two bowls, drizzle a little olive oil over, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Yummy :)

Yummy 🙂

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Lasagna Pie Time

This food monstrosity isn’t one for the waistlines, but it fills a gap that is hard to match!

Ingredients:

For the pasta: 300g OO pasta flour and 3 eggs.

For the fillings: Your choice but we recommend pesto (homemade for us – see recipes for how to), salami/chorizo, ricotta/cheese, white sauce, bolognese…

Preparation

Preparation

Method:

Make the pasta first as it needs at least 30 mins in the fridge to cool before being rolled. Make a well out of the OO flour, and crack the eggs into the middle. Get your fingers in and slowly start working the egg in a circle, incorporating the flour bit by bit.

WARNING: you will get to a stage where your fingers are covered in eggy flour and you think it’s a lost cause , keep faith! Keep adding the flour until you have a firm ball of dough which when you bend doesn’t crack, but slowly tears. You’ll know when you’re a the right stage due to your arm feeling like its about to fall off! Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 30 mins

When you are ready to roll out your pasta, take out the fridge to get to room temperature, it won’t roll properly if too cold. Cut your huge ball into 3-5 pieces, otherwise when you roll it out it will be far too long to manage.

Get your pasta machine out (if you don’t have one you can manage with a rolling pin). Set it on the highest setting and start working the dough through, lowering the setting and folding the dough over until you have a long strip. Feed it through slowly and catch on the back of your hand.

Normally you would wait until you can see newspaper through the dough but as this dish is a bit less refined than a ravioli, a bit thicker is probably better.

Just keep rolling rolling rolling

Time to assemble! Grease your bowl and cut the pasta into sheets so that they are just longer than you need to cover the sides of the bowl. Layer the bowl with pasta sheets to create the crust, leaving a fair amount of overhang to cover the base later.

Now for the fun bit – Start adding your choice of fillings, leaving a layer of pasta sheets inbetween and wiping with white sauce. We did something like salami, cheese, pesto, cheese, bolagnase, salami, cheese. Once you have finished, wrap over the ends on the pasta and brush to seal with white sauce.

lasagne pie 3

Cover in foil and cook at 180 degrees for 30minutes before uncovering and cooking for a further 15.

  • Flip it out onto a board, cut and enjoy.

lasagne pie 5lasagna pie 6

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