Risotto with roasted butternut squash

Roasted Butternut.jpg

You could make this with any roasted squash, pumpkin or other roasted fall vegetables like parsnip or, turnips. It also makes great risotto cakes.

Serves 4 to 6

1 medium butter nut squash peeled, and cut in half, seeds removed

1/4 cup olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 to 5 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 small onion diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/4 cups (1 pound) Arborio or Carnerolli rice

1/2 cup white wine

3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, (1 cup grated)

Leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the squash into 1/2 –inch cubes and place on a baking sheet with sides and drizzle and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast 30 to 35 minutes until the squash is tender and slightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Place the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium-low heat. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until each grain is coated with fat. Add a little more oil if necessary. When the grains are well coated, the outside of each grain turns translucent and you can see a small white dot in the center of each grain, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the white wine and cook until it evaporates.

Add about 1 cup of the chicken broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs all of the broth. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time, stirring each time until each addition of the broth is absorbed before adding more. The entire process will take 20-25 minutes. Cook the risotto until the rice is tender and creamy, but not mushy. You might not need the entire 5 cups of broth.

Stir in the cooked squash along with any pan drippings, add the thyme. Cook until the squash is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add a little more chicken broth if the risotto gets too dry. Stir in half of the Parmesan and thyme. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Serve warm and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.