I love butternut squash. I love risotto. When you put them together, the stars align and something amazing is created!
You start this dish by roasting a butternut squash. When you roast the squash, it turns out so nutty and sweet and delicious! You can peel it, cut it into chunks, and then bake it, but I prefer to cut it in half and bake the two halves intact. You only need half of a medium-sized squash for this recipe, so what I do is roast the whole thing and freeze half to make butternut squash soup later. Of course, I’ll be posting that recipe soon. It’s sooooo good – smooth, creamy, and very fulfilling!
To roast the squash, cut the top and then the rounded bottom off so it will stand up on end. Then cut it right down the middle into two halves and use a large spoon to remove the seeds. On a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (you thought I was kidding about always doing that, weren’t you?), lay out the squash and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes cut side up, and then turn over for approximately another 20 minutes. It might take a little more or less time, just keep an eye on it. Turn your kitchen fan on, because the olive oil smokes a little, but it’ll be ok. I promise. You’ll know it’s done when you stick a fork in the flesh and it doesn’t feel crunchy or hard anymore. Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes (unless you’re a glutton for punishment), and then scoop out the roasted squash from the rind using a large spoon. For this recipe, you’ll need about one cup of the squash.
For the risotto, I just follow your typical risotto method. Saute up some onions and garlic, toast up your arborio rice, add some wine, and then slowly add warmed chicken stock while stirring constantly. Risotto is not difficult to make, but it can be a bit tedious because it’s like a dependent child that you have to tend to. You literally have to stir it the entire time. This is what makes the starches come out of the arborio and makes it lusciously creamy without using any cream at all! At the end, you stir in a bit of butter to gloss it up and some Parmesan cheese for flavor. It’s worth the effort, trust me!
For just Tim and me, I used one cup of arborio rice, about 1/2 – 2/3 cup of wine (I didn’t measure), and about 3 cups of chicken stock, and we had a couple of servings leftover. If you need to make more, you can use 1.5 cups of rice about 3/4 cup of wine, and about 4 cups of stock. It really makes a lot! If you are feeding an army, use 2 cups of rice, 1 cup of wine, and about 5-6 cups of stock.
Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup of dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock (more or less)
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash
- 1 T butter
- 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
In a small pot, heat chicken stock until just warmed. Leave on low heat.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender. Add rice and toast for 2-3 minutes. Add wine and stir until wine is completely absorbed. Add one ladle of chicken stock and stir the rice until stock is completely absorbed. Continue adding stock one ladle at a time until the rice is cooked through and no longer crunchy. You may need a little more or less stock; just keep adding and stirring until the rice is done. When rice is done and all of the liquid is absorbed, stir in roasted butternut squash. Finally, stir in one tablespoon of butter and about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
This goes great with chicken, fish, beef, whatever! I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as we do!