Roasted Squash, Bacon and Spinach Risotto

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Week 5 of the re-wire and at last the sparkies have finished.  They were a great couple of guys but the house has been turned up side down.  It feels like we’ve moved house and this time we don’t know where anything is.  Throughout though we’ve managed to keep the veggie box going and this week we were topically (Halloween) re-warded with a small squash.

When I saw it I knew immediately what I wanted to make and my mind sprung to getting my eldest in on the act, away from his screen with a lesson in the dark art of absorption.

Roasting a squash might feel like a faff.  Once in the oven though, you crack on with the risotto and the squash takes care of itself.

  • Small Squash
  • 225g Smoked Bacon, chopped into pieces
  • 300g Arborio rice
  • Onion diced
  • Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 1.2 Litre of stock (we used bouillon)
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Olive or Rapeseed Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Creme Fraiche
  • Spinach 200g or so

Peel the squash, half it and scoop out the seeds.   Dice both halves into good bite sized cubes.  Place on a roasting tray drizzle with some oil and place into the oven for 30 mins or so on 180°C.

Once your squash is in the oven, crack on with Risotto.

A good sized pan is needed for this as basically everything is going to end-up in it!

Fry the bacon in some oil, scoop out once cooked and put to one side, try to leave as much as the oil as possible.

Then soften the onion, crushed garlic in the oil on a gentle heat.  Add the spices at this point and cook for another minute.

Add the Arborio rice at this point.  I joke with my son here that the rice will start to talk to you when it’s ready for some liquid.

Add a ladle of stock.  Simmer and stir until absorbed and keep doing this until all the stock has gone.   The rice should be soft to the bite, you might need a little less liquid or a little more.  Use your judgement.  Stir in the creme fraiche and the bacon.  Add the spinach, this will wilt down which is a surprise in itself.

Finally fold in the roasted squash.


Roasted Butternut Squash and a Loaf

Managed a bit of peace and quiet this morning, spent the time pottering and made a simple roasted soup alongside a white loaf this morning.

The soup doctored loosely from a Jamie Oliver recipe and allowed me to use the odds and ends (carrots, parsnip) from the previous shop and the odd apples that get left at the bottom of the bowl because they are bruised. The making of the soup sat perfectly with the timings of a Dan Lepard loaf.

The basic idea of the soup is that you roast and then blitz with the stock.

3 apples
Onion or leek
Other root veg (optional) I used 2 carrots and a parsnip
Garlic two cloves, skin removed and bashed
Chilli (optional) deseeded and finely chopped
Olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1l of stock

Peel the squash and chop in half, remove the seeds, chop the squash into big chunks
Peel the root veg and chop into chunks
Roughly chop onion
Throw all these ingredients into a roasting tin
I peel, quarter and core the apples last so they don’t go brown, add to tin
Then add a couple lugs of oil over the mix, a good shake of the tin and put into a Pre heated over at 180c for 30-40 mins.

Once your veggies are nice and soft and the kitchen has the most amazing aroma, add the veggies to a pan that can take both the veggies and stock and waz with the hand blender. Bring to a simmer before serving.

Butternut and Bacon Risotto

Butternut and Bacon Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A comforting bowl of Risotto.

Autumn is a lovely time for cooking and a great excuse to bring-on the heart warming comfort food that make the shorter nights bearable. I’d planned on making a risotto for Sunday night tea, but purely bacon and mushroom. The squash was an after thought after I didn’t manage to use it in a soup, but what a discovery…..roasted and stirred into the risotto at the end creates the most amazing tasting sauce that’s thick and unctuous and just what you need to chase the cold nights away. Risotto is so versatile, once you have a basic recipe you can mould it to your needs.

Credit: EdinburghCook

You need a good sized pan that will take a litre of stock, mushrooms and rice and allows a good stir….on this occasion I chose a pot that was too small! I managed though!


      • 1 leek, chopped into small pieces
      • 1 clove of garlic
      • 6 rashers, good quality smoked bacon
      • Knob of butter
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 300g Arborio(Risotto) Rice
      • 1 Glass of wine or sherry
      • 200g Chestnut Mushrooms, quartered
      • Optional – Butternut Squash, roasted see below
      • Optional – Butter Beans (Which I had left over from cooking too many – use tinned for ease)
      • 75-100g Gruyere or Parmesan grated
      • 1 litre of stock (I used Bouillon). Hot.


Roasted Squash

      1. Chop the squash in half and scoop out the seeds
      2. Rub a little olive oil on the flesh of each half
      3. Place on a roasting tray and into a hot oven (180c) for 40 mins
      4. Allow to cool and then you can scoop out the soft flesh
      5. I had quite a large squash so only used half for the above recipe and used the other half for soup.


      1. Chop up the bacon into bite size pieces and fry the bacon in the olive oil until it starts to colour, decant the bacon onto a plate. Try to keep the juices in the pot.
      2. Add the butter and melt, stir in the leek and soften, crush the garlic and add to the leek.
      3. Add the rice and coat, in the leek, butter and garlic. The idea is to the heat the rice right through so that’s ready to start absorbing all the liquid we are going to throw at it
      4. Pour in the wine, and stir…this will be quickly absorbed
      5. Add a ladle of the stock, and stir until absorbed….repeat this until you have a little of the stock left……I find this process quite satisfying, and if you like a glass of wine whilst you cook….this is the perfect time!
      6. Add the mushrooms
      7. Stir in the butternut squash
      8. Stir in the butter beans if using
      9. Add the extra stock if you need it
      10. Add you bacon back in
      11. Stir in the cheese and serve