(Apologies for any discrepancies in terminology or measurements, I know things are a bit different across the pond!)
To serve 2-3 people.
For the risotto:
7oz risotto rice, e.g. Arborio (I think it's about 1 cup)
1 wineglass of dry white wine / vermouth (e.g. dry martini)
1 pint stock (3x Oxo cubes)
1x medium onion, finely chopped
1x clove garlic, finely chopped
Approx. 2oz grated parmesan
For the rest:
1/2 medium butternut squash, deseeded and cubed into 1-inch pieces
4 or 5 chestnut mushrooms (or normal-sized mushrooms), sliced
Approx. 3oz blue cheese (e.g. stilton / Shropshire blue / Gorgonzola)
1x handful pine nuts
PLUS: Salt and pepper.
(If you don't like blue cheese, substitute brie or camembert for a similar flavour without the blueness!)
Pre-heat oven to 200C / gas mark 6.
Put a little oil in a baking tray and put in the squash, rolling it in the oil to ensure all sides are coated. Add salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes and reserve.
In a good, medium-sized non-stick saucepan, melt a knob of butter and a little olive oil. In another non-stick frying pan, melt another knob of butter, both over medium heat.
Add the chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan and cook for 15 minutes or until softened, but not coloured. At the same time, cook the mushrooms and pine nuts in the frying pan over a low heat until golden. Reserve the mushrooms and pine nuts with the squash.
When the onion is cooked, add the rice and turn up the heat. Keep stirring the rice and cook it for about a minute until it looks slightly translucent.
Then add the wine / vermouth and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until the liquid has cooked into the rice, then turn the heat down again.
Add the stock bit by bit. You're supposed to do it "ladle by ladle" but that takes bloody ages, so I would say add about a quarter of it (you're getting the same amount of liquid either way, it just takes longer to absorb). Keep on stirring to get all the starchy goodness out of the rice. When the liquid has cooked into the rice, add more stock, repeating the process.
About halfway through, add about half of the blue cheese and stir it in, then add more stock. (I don't know why, but this seems to work really well!)
As you're adding the very last bit of stock, put in the rest of the blue cheese. Return the cooked squash, mushrooms and pine nuts to the frying pan and warm them up over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. The mushrooms and pine nuts should brown off a little more at this point.
When the last addition of stock has been absorbed, have a taste to see if the rice is cooked (it should be "al dente" and the whole mixture should be gloopy but not too stodgy). If it needs more liquid, add a little boiling water and repeat the stirring process until the rice is cooked. Put in the parmesan and a good knob of butter and stir through. Remove from the heat, cover it, and leave it to stand for 2 minutes before finally stirring through again. Transfer to a bowl and add the squash, mushrooms and pine nuts, mix well, and serve.
It does take a few practice efforts to get the risotto perfect (I think I finally got it right on my third attempt). Having good pans really helps, as does cooking your additions whilst the onions are doing at the start and re-heating them towards the end, rather than trying to multi-task. Risotto is one of those dishes which takes a lot of patience and perseverence - and you can't just leave it to its own devices - but it's definitely worth all the effort.
Let me know how it turns out, if you try it...
Tonight I have to go shopping for various ingredients, as Paul is attempting to cook tapas for six people on Saturday. :) (It was originally just for the two of us, but I've invited parental bodies over as well. Anyway, most of the recipes serve 6 to 8 people...) We're doing a selection of seven dishes (two veg, two meat/poultry, two fish, one starter), which should be more than enough, in addition to olives and houmous...
On Friday, for those who didn't get/see the message on Facebook, I'll be going for some drinks after work, around 4.30pm, at the Briar Rose. I have invited work people as well (killing two birds with one stone, as 'twere) but dunno how many will come - and should probably point out it's the cool people, not the people I moan about. :P Anyway, just FYI. Not sure how long I'll be there as it will depend how tired I am. I've got next week off and aside from our trip to London I'm hoping it'll be a relatively quiet one. :)