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One pot squash and mushroom risotto

With the summer over and the temperatures dropping I like to come back to the warm dishes from the Tuscan autumnal tradition.

"Risotto alla zucca" is an easy and yet delicious one-pot dish to taste with a good glass of red wine when it's raining outside.

If you increase the quantity of the ingredients, it would be an excellent and healthy work lunch for the following day.

Here in London is easy to find seasonal organic squashes and usually they are quite cheap.

If you want to know more about benefits of this amazing fruit, this is a interesting article for you: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/squash.html

I prefer to use organic ingredients when I can because they taste some much better and I feel like I am helping the environment and the local economy when I am buying from the small organic farmers out of London (the famous Italian "km 0") instead of importing stuff from abroad.

Personally, I found an incredible difference in taste and the prices sometimes are not so high if you spend time looking for small grocery shops in your area.

Ingredients for 2:

-Half squash

-Dried porcine mushrooms

-Fresh Portobello mushrooms

-Crushed chilli

-Arborio rice (the best Italian one is from Lidl)

-Fresh rosemary

-Extra virgin olive oil

-Vegetable stock

-A tablespoon of soy sauce

-Half red onion

-A small shallot

-A clove of garlic

-A pinch of turmeric

-A pinch of saffron

-Put the kettle on at max capacity.

-Prepare the squash first as it needs to cook a bit more than the mushrooms.

Peel the onion, the garlic and the shallot and cut them into dices or thin slices.

Remove the skin from the squash, slice it and cut it in to dices too.

-Put a generous spoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot and add the veggies and some rosemary. Let it cook covered with a lid on for at least 5 minutes stirring every now and then.

-In the meantime add some hot water in a mug with the dry mushrooms and let them soak for 10 minutes.

-Clean and peel of the skin of the fresh mushrooms.

Cut them into slices and add them to the pot. Season with some soy sauce and a pinch of crushed chilli to add a spicy twist.

-Add the rice (200 gr will be enough) and stir the mixture in order to mix well all the flavours.

-When the dry mushrooms are soft again, add them to the pot including their water (it will give a nice taste and texture to it) and add some vegetable stock with more hot water from the kettle. It’s also time to add the spices: a pinch of turmeric and the saffron. I don’t usually add any salt because the stock contains some already and because I used some soy sauce at the beginning but if you feel like it won’t be enough, you can add some now.

At first it will look like a soup as the water will cover all, but in a few minutes the rice will grow and absorb all the water.

-Keep it covered with a lid but stir every now and then to prevent the rice to stick to the bottom of the pot.

When it becomes creamy it’s ready.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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Check out anther of my recipes with rice: