Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Smoked Chilli Paste and Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

A couple of months back, I entered my individual vegan Mexican Tamale Pie recipe in a blogger contest and was runner up.  I was sent a jar of Gran Luchito - a smoked chilli spice paste with medium heat.  It came beautifully packed like a little present.  In place of a bow, tied to the box was a smoked pasilla oaxaca chilli, the scent drifting from it was deep and smoky.  

Well this is the first dish that I've made with it - a golden bowl of Smoked Chilli Paste and Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto.   Enjoy.
Its been strange weather the past few days.  One day its blazing hot, then the next its pouring by the bucket load.  I enjoyed this risotto immensely.  The colour  enhanced a little by paprika, was a bit like a log fire - belly warming.  The taste was just right: first comes the smoky hit, then the liquid sweet followed by the mild heat from the chilli and spices.  It was just right.  I was enjoying tucking my spoon in and out of my mouth, until it was all gone.

I am looking forward to experimenting and making the most of my jar, slowly of course; and have a few more ideas in mind. Also I can't wait to try the Luchito Honey!
Smoked Chilli Paste and Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
Serves 4 with a side salad
200g butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small bite size cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1- 2 teaspoon smoked chilli paste (I used Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli paste) or more depending on your desire for smoky overtones.
Pinch of smoked paprika, namely for colour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
250g risotto rice
1 1/2- 2 pints vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Spring onions for garnish, sliced
Coat the butternut squash cubes in the olive oil, then tip into an ovenproof pan and roast for 20 - 35 minutes, or until soft and lightly roasted.  Give them a good shake now and again, to prevent them from sticking to the pan.   

Whilst the butternut squash is roasting away, in a wide pan, heat the oil.  Stir in the onion and sauté for 10 minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic, smoked chilli paste and paprika and cook for a a minute, then stir in the rice and cook for a minute or so. 
Then stir in about 150ml of the vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Once the stock has been absorbed by the rice, gradually add more, a ladle at a time until all is used up.  Stir frequently until the rice is cooked, about 25 - 55 minutes, maybe even more.  About 5 minutes before the rice is perfectly cooked, stir in the roasted butternut squash.  Taste and tweak seasoning to taste.   Cook for a few minutes more, then serve immediately garnished with optional spring onions. 

Other Mexican Inspired Dishes on my blog
Chilli Cucumbers and Chimichangas
Baked Mexican Eggs in Tortilla Cups
Black Turtle Beans and Pepper Enchilada's
Avocado, Jalapeno, and Coriander Pasta
Quesadillas with Drunken Beans
Kale and Potato Tortilla Wraps
Quesadillas with Jalapeno Pinto Beans
Oven Baked Quesadillas with Fried Eggs


  1. Aaah! That sounds like a dish I would really enjoy. Maybe a few home-made tortillas to go with it..?

  2. That smoked chilli sounds great; the risotto is wonderful too, perfect for this damp weather we've been having. My local Waitrose sells something like luvhito, might grab some and try this out, thanks.

  3. Shaheen,
    Another lovely dish that makes my mouth water; at 11:30 PM :)
    Sounds delicious. If you say the word, 'spicy', I am there.
    Might also work with buckwheat or rice noodles.
    Peace :)

    1. It will def. work with buckwheat and most especially noodles.


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