( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
Use good quality rice to ensure this creamy, comforting dish cooks to perfection. We use Ferron risotto rice, carnaroli or vialone nano available at sabato.co.nz and speciality food stores.
- Place the oil and half the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cook the onion until soft but not coloured, then add the rice and stir until well coated with oil.
- Add butternut and wine and stir until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the hot water a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed before you add the next ladleful. The risotto should be kept at a rapid simmer. Continue, a ladle at a time, until the rice is al dente (about 20 minutes).
- Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter and parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately with fried sage leaves if wished. They add a simple garnish—cook in hot oil, a few at a time, for 10-20 seconds. Drain well and leave to crisp as they dry.