Butternut Squash Risotto

I seem to have developed a case of the flu.

I suppose it was inevitable, given my failure to get a flu shot, coupled with babysitting a sickly two-year-old. Regardless of whether or not I deserved it, however, I feel nothing short of miserable. I rarely get fevers, and this one has left me particularly worn out . Quite frankly, I feel as though I have been hit by a bus (or so I imagine). Achy muscles, shivers, sniffles, and a lack of appetite – just what one wants over winter break!

While I may not feel like eating anything, I do feel like writing about cooking, and I think it is about time that I shared my new favorite risotto recipe. A few weeks ago, I picked up some butternut squash at my local Safeway and found myself checking out Martha Stewart’s website for some ideas about what to make with it. Conveniently enough, her main recipe page featured a link to a slideshow of squash recipes, and, after clicking through the first couple of slides, I came across the image and recipe link for butternut squash risotto. Since I love Italian food, it seemed only natural that I would test this recipe out.

Results: Martha = genius. I know I say this fairly often, but I don’t think you can go wrong with this recipe. I’ve made it several times for different groups of people, and everyone is amazed by how great the squash tastes in the risotto. Even vegetable haters like it! So, once again, major props to Martha. Maybe, when I am healthy enough, I’ll make myself a batch…

Butternut Squash Risotto (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Course salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans reduced-sodium vegetable broth, mixed with ½ cup water, and heated
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1½ teaspoons of dried sage

Equipment:

  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 wooden spoon

Directions:

  • In your saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When it has melted, add the chopped squash and season with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the edges soften. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Add in your rice, stirring to coat evenly.
  • Add wine and cook until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed – 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Reduce your heat to medium low. Add ½ cup of your hot broth/water mixture. Cook, stirring until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to add the broth in ½ cup increments, allowing all the liquid to absorb before adding more and stirring frequently. This entire process should take 35 to 40 minutes.

  • Finally, stir in your Parmesan, sage, and extra salt/pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnishing with extra cheese and herbs if desired.

Serves three to four people.

 

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