Risotto is one of those intimidating dishes that cost a lot of money at a restaurant, but it’s not really that bad to make at home! Here’s what you’ll need:

Risotto depends on the starchiness of a special kind of rice, Arborio rice, to make its own creamy sauce. Begin by placing chicken broth and water in a saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pan, and place it on the back burner over low heat to keep it hot.

Next, slice the top and bottom off your squash, and then peel it.

Cut the neck of the squash off the bulb. Cut the neck into planks, and cut the bulb in half. Scoop out the seeds, and then cut each bulb half into half moon slices. 

Dice the squash and place in a bowl.

Mince the shallot.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven, then add the shallot, squash, and a teaspoon of salt. Saute until softened and squash is beginning to lightly brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Risotto requires a lot of stirring, and is quite thick, so I recommend using a wooden spoon.

Add the arborio rice, and sauté until the rice is coated in the oil and turning slightly translucent, 2 to 5 minutes.

Add white wine or cooking wine and stir until it’s all absorbed in. Then add half the hot broth. 

Simmer, stirring 3 or 4 times until the risotto is very thick and most of the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the remaining broth in 4 additions, stirring constantly after each addition, until it’s mostly absorbed. After the final addition, remove the pan from the heat, and add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO

1 small butternut squash
1 shallot
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Salt and pepper

Peel, seed, and dice the butternut squash.

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a saucepan, reduce to low heat and cover to keep hot.

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Sauté the shallot and squash until softened and beginning to lightly brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the rice and cook until beginning to turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the wine and stir constantly until absorbed.

Add half the hot broth (3 cups), and simmer, stirring 3 or 4 times, until mostly absorbed and very thick, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the remaining broth in 4 additions, stirring constantly after each addition, until it’s absorbed and thick. After the last addition, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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