Try this delicious and easy risotto recipe from actress and foodie Nicola 'Milly' Millbank

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Actress Nicola 'Milly' Millbank started her blog, Milly Cookbook, as a way to share great food that's fad-free and full of flavour amid a filtered world of 'clean' eating and elimination diets. Earlier this summer, Milly shared a taste of what  her weekly food diary  looks like ahead of the pre-order release for her new cookbook, and here she serves up one of her favourite homemade recipes for a deliciously hearty risotto. Dig in...

Serves 4


500g of 1 inch butternut squash
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
A few sage leaves, a couple shredded and few left whole
100ml white wine
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
300g pearl barley
50g butter
Salt and pepper
Olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 190C.

2. Chop the butternut squash into 1 inch pieces, and place onto a baking tray.

3. Drizzle with olive oil, scatter with salt and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until soft.

4. In a heavy based pan, fry the shallots in a glug of olive oil until soft and add the garlic and shredded sage.

5. Add the pearl barley and stir for a couple of minutes until all the grains are coated in oil.

6. Pour in the white wine and allow it to fully cook away.

7. Add the stock, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.

8. Cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes until al dente, adding a little extra water if necessary.

9. Once the pearl barley is cooked, season with salt and pepper and add a handful of the butternut squash pieces into the risotto and set aside.

10. In a small frying pan, melt the butter along with the sage leaves over a high heat until they turn crispy and the butter starts the brown. Once done remove from the heat.

11. To serve, plate the risotto with a few extra pieces of butternut squash and drizzle over the butter and crispy sage leaves.

Find out more about Nicola and read her week's food diary here

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