Goats cheese risotto cakes

Paul Merrett creates a sensational supper of creamy oven baked risotto with silky butternut squash sauce
By Paul Merrett
Goats cheese risotto cakes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the risotto cakes

  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for roasting squash
  • 25 g butter
  • 75 g shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 160 g arborio risotto rice
  • 175 ml white wine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150 g hard goats' cheese, crumbled

For the squash

  • 800 g butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 800 g butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 3 whole whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 125 ml double cream
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 80 g pine kernels, toasted
  • green vegetables, to serve


1. To make the risotto, heat the stock and keep warm on low heat throughout.

2. Heat the oil and butter together in a large frying pan and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes over a gentle heat, until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly. Add the wine and boil until evaporated, stirring all the time.

3. Add the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly over a gentle heat. Wait until each ladle of stock has been absorbed before adding another. Repeat the process until the stock has been completely absorbed and the rice is creamy, but slightly chewy (not chalky) in the middle. This should take about 20-25 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Grease 4 dariole moulds or ramekins with a capacity of 200ml and put a circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each. Turn the oven on to 220C/gas 8.

5. Stir the beaten eggs into the risotto. Add the cheese. Divide the mixture between the moulds and place on a baking tray. Cook for 20 minutes. Keep warm.

6. Meanwhile, place half of the squash in a saucepan with the cloves and boil for about 15 minutes, until soft. Leave to cool slightly.

7. Remove the cloves and bay leaf. Transfer everything to a blender and liquidise until smooth.

8. Toss the remaining squash in olive oil and season. Transfer to a baking tray and roast for 35 minutes.

9. Warm the sauce gently through and spoon a pool into the centre of 4 dinner plates. Use about half of the sauce.

10. To serve: turn out the risotto cakes, place one in the centre of each plate and spoon over more sauce. Scatter over the pine nuts and arrange the roasted squash on the side. Serve with simply cooked green vegetables, as desired.

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