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Make San Carlo's butternut squash risotto

Get out the cauldron and carve out some post Halloween magic

Published on November 3rd 2010.

Make San Carlo's butternut squash risotto

HALLOWEEN is traditionally the spookiest night of the year and that can only mean one thing: parents and youngsters earnestly cutting and scooping out pumpkins in a bid to create the perfect pumpkin lantern.

We asked executive chef Franco Bellomusto from popular Italian restaurant group San Carlo*, to come up with a recipe suitable for this time of year - and to use up all those delicious squash and pumpkin bits hanging about.

Franco said: “In Italy we like butternut squash, a vegetable from the same family as pumpkin, and we use it in many dishes.”

“One of the most popular is risotto. It is easy to prepare and makes a hearty meal to eat on a cold autumn night.”

“This is my special recipe.”

- 500g butternut squash
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- I large onion, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 250g Aborio rice
- 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
- 150g Tallegio cheese, cubed
- 60g unsalted butter
- 1 sprig of rosemary

1. Roast the butternut squash quarters at 220c/gas mark 6 for about 45 minutes or until soft. Once cooked scoop out the seeds and toast (to be used as a garnish). Scoop out the flesh and blend until smooth.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sweat the onions, celery and garlic with a pinch of salt for 1-2 minutes. Add the rice and add in the stock, one ladle at a time until evaporated.

3. Stir for a further two minutes then add butternut squash puree and mix.

4. Add the Tallegio, butter and rosemary and season to taste. Allow the risotto to rest for 6 minutes before serving.

5. Garnish with the toasted seeds.

San Carlo has restaurants based in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Leeds and Knightsbridge Green.

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saladdazeNovember 5th 2010.

I've yet to find a restaurant outside Italy that does risotto as good as mine. Usually it's because there's no wine added after the rice has been coated initially, not enough decent stock and the cooking is far too fast. Whatever celebrity chefs might say, risotto requires time, patience... I do a variation on this recipe. The squash needs to be seasoned and have plenty of herbs scattered. I add it near the end of the rice cooking to retain its integrity,

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