Bacon & Butternut Couscous Risotto
50g butter, chopped
1 bunch sage, leaves picked
1kg Japanese pumpkin, cut into wedges
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
8 rashers bacon
2 litres chicken stock
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
½ cup pecorino, finely grated
1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add butter and sage and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until sage is crisp and butter just browns. Set aside.
2 Place pumpkin on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Brush pumpkin with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and drizzle with half the oil. Roast for 20 minutes.
3 Brush bacon with remaining syrup and add to the baking tray. Roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until bacon is golden. Set aside and keep warm.
4 Place stock in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Add remaining oil to another saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.
5 Add couscous, and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously for 10-15 minutes, or until couscous absorbs stock and is tender. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
6 Spoon into serving bowls; top with pumpkin and bacon. Drizzle with burnt butter and sage leaves. Serve with pecorino.