Butternut Squash Fennell and Spinach Risotto
½ small butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 ¾ cups arborio rice
5 cups good chicken stock
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced (optional)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1. Dice the squash into small pieces and put into a saucepan, barely covering with water. Place over a medium heat and cook until soft (approximately 10 minutes); remove from heat, place into a blender and puree.
2. Meanwhile, set BELLA Copper Coated Skillet to medium heat; sweat the onions and fennel seeds in the olive oil and half the butter until soft and translucent.
3. Add in the rice and stir until the rice starts to make a crackling noise, about 30-40 seconds. Slowly incorporate the chicken stock a little at a time, allowing the rice to cook slowly and absorb moisture (this will take anywhere between 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally).
4. When the rice is almost cooked and slightly nutty in texture, add in the remaining butter along with parmesan cheese, squash puree, sliced fennel, spinach; season with plenty of black pepper and finish with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to serve.