Either one loves the smooth, creamy texture of risotto, or one does not – or at the most exhibits a lukewarm attitude towards this comforting one-pot dish. Half of our household belongs to one league in this regard, and the other (mostly my best half) tends to display only semi-enthusiastic reactions when the dinner of the days turns out to be risotto. My husband misses a bite (at least when I cook a leek and pea risotto -which is one of my favourites) and finds its taste too uniform and lacking contrast. But that evenness is part of the risotto deal, and as long as the taste’s just right, I don’t see the problem with an entire portion of the same yumminess. Our differing appreciation of risotto, however, is why I cook this type of dish only occasionally.
Some weeks ago, I at one point had some leftovers in my fridge, including half a butternut squash, some bell pepper and a package of Wheaty chorizo. And that inspired me to pair both. Not in a soup, although that would certainly work – because butternut squash, bell pepper and a hint of smoked paprika actually make for a wonderful soup, and sliced vegan sausages are always nice in soup too – but in a risotto. I was quite pleased with the result, cooked it again two days ago (with the same satisfactory result), and decided this is going to be a keeper. At least for the risotto-loving part of the family, this is very good news :-).
Butternut squash risotto with vegan chorizo, bell pepper & smoked paprika.
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 grilled bell pepper (or a small jar of oil-packed bell pepper, which is what I used here), finely sliced or cubed
- 4-5 chorizo sausages (Wheaty has great chorizo sausages, and also merguez sausages, which both can be used in this recipe), thinly sliced
- 1 – 1,5 TB vegetable stock powder
- 5-6 cups water
- 1 tsp sage
- 1,5 – 2 TB smoked paprika
- 2 tsp chipotle paste and/or some crushed chili flakes (optional, if you like things spicy)
- salt and pepper
- Take a pot and start frying the onion until translucent
- Add the garlic, and fry for one more minute
- Add the rice, and fry until the rice starts looking somewhat glazed
- Pour in 1 cup of the stock and add the pinch of sage, stir every now and then, and each time when most of the water has been absorbed, add some more, until the rice has reached the consistency you prefer. Whilst you are doing this, take a grill pan, and grill the butternut squash cubes until they have a nice bite, then set aside until the rice is ready.
- When the risotto is done, add all the remaining ingredients and give the risotto a few more good stirs.
- Serve with a crisp salad on the side, with a drizzle of of a simple balsamic-based vinaigrette. You may add some smoked paprika to the vinaigrette as well.