Italian · rice · Vegetable

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash

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Risotto con Zucca Arrostita

Risotto is made with Arborio rice, a short grain Italian rice, that is known for its silky, creamy goodness. The slow cooking method used to prepare it brings out the starch with creates the creaminess.   I’m sure you will agree that it is well worth the extra effort. It can be served as a main dish or a side dish. This recipe is made with butternut squash, but you can use almost any vegetables you prefer, and sausage or pancetta are also delicious options.

Ingredients for butternut squash:

20 – oz. butternut squash cubed
Salt
Black pepper
Olive oil
1/2 – tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 – tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

Directions:

You can buy pre-cubed butternut squash or if you buy a whole one, peel it, remove the seeds, and make 1 inch cubes.  Place the cubes in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, salt, black pepper, thyme, and nutmeg.  Mix well.  Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, and spread the butternut squash over it. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until tender.  Set aside until the risotto is cooked.

Ingredients for the Risotto:

1 – cup Arborio rice
32 – oz. chicken stock (preferably organic)
1 – shallot
1 – clove garlic
1/2 – cup dry white wine
1/2 – cup parmigiano reggiano
Salt
Black pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in medium sized sauce pan. Dice the shallot and garlic then add to the pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper. Sauté on medium heat until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. In the meantime, heat the chicken broth in a separate sauce pan.

Add the rice to the onion and garlic and stir, making sure to coat all the rice with the butter. Cook about 1-2 minutes, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Stir and cook until reduced by half.

Start adding the warm chicken broth one ladle at a time. Stir constantly on a medium-low flame, cook the rice until almost all the liquid is absorbed then add another ladle of chicken broth.

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Continue this process until all or most of the broth is gone. It is important to add the broth a little at a time so that the rice will release its starch to create a creamy sauce. It may not take all 32 oz. of the broth. Taste the rice after about 15 minutes to test and continue to add broth as needed until the rice becomes smooth, creamy and al dente (it should be a little firm to the bite).

Once the rice is al dente, add a pat of butter and the parmigiano reggiano and mix well. Add the roasted butternut squash and fold in. Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

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