Butternut Squash, Leek and Cheese Risotto

Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced (optional)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped, or _ - 1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped, or _ - 1 tsp dried sage
225 g arborio or carnaroli rice
1 litre vegetable stock
450 g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into bite-size pieces
125 g Parmesan, Gruyère or Cheddar cheese, grated
4 tbsp double cream (optional)
Small fresh rosemary sprigs, to garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks, garlic, chilli, rosemary and sage and cook for 5 minutes until soft.

Bring the stock to a steady simmer in another saucepan.

Add the rice to the vegetable mixture and stir-fry for 1 minute until all the grains are glossy.

Add the butternut squash and stir well. Pour in 150 ml of the hot stock and stir over a medium heat until absorbed. Gradually add the remaining stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring occasionally. Continue until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed (about 25 minutes).

Remove from the heat and stir in 100 g of the cheese and the cream (if using).
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Top with the remaining 25 g of cheese and a grinding of black pepper.
Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.

(You can also use pumpkin instead of butternut squash.)