Like most rice dishes, risotto lends itself to unlimited flavour possibilities ranging from rich and creamy to fresh and fragrant.

This does, however, mean that many recipes can be overcomplicated and require more than just a handful of ingredients.

But for those looking to keep it simple, one cookbook author has crafted the easiest formula for a quick and fulfilling dinner.

Made with seasonal butternut squash arborio rice, chef Madeleine Olivia claimed that her recipe makes for a “warming evening dish”.

While the flavours are basic, the Plant Kitchen Comforts author noted that the squash “adds the perfect sweetness”.

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  • One small butternut squash

  • 300g arborio rice

  • One litre of vegetable stock

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The rice should be cooked on the stove though the squash needs to be roasted in the oven beforehand. To do this quickly, start by preheating the appliance to 200C.

Peel and chop the butternut squash into bite-sized chunks then lay out on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sage can also be added to the squash for extra flavour for those willing to expand the three-ingredient list.

Place the tray in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through.  Once the squash is in the oven, immediately move on to the rice to save time.

Do this by heating up a knob of butter, or a generous drizzle of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the arborio rice, and stir through and cook for a minute or two.

Gradually pour one ladle of stock into the risotto, stirring each time to allow it to fully absorb. Madelaine claimed that continually stirring and adding the liquid slowly is the key to “yummy risotto”, so shouldn’t be rushed.

Keeping an eye on the butternut squash, remove it from the oven when ready. Once all of the stock and the risotto are cooked, add two-thirds of the cooked vegetable, mixing and mashing some of the pieces into the risotto.

Serve in bowls and top with the remaining squash chunks. The chef suggested topping the dish with some parmesan cheese for an extra bite.

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