Butternut Squash Risotto
A northern Italian specialty dating as far back as the Renaissance, risotto is traditionally served as a primo piatto (first course), after the antipasto. It is made from a high-starch rice such as Arborio or Carnaroli. The small grains become exceptionally creamy as the dish slowly simmers. Here, butternut squash puree and caramelized onions lend a mellow sweetness to the risotto.
- 7 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh sage
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cups butternut squash puree
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- ⅔ cup caramelized onions
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter. Add 1 Tbs. of the sage and heat until the butter browns. Strain the butter into a small bowl and discard the sage. Cover the bowl to keep the butter warm.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the stock and squash puree. Bring just to a simmer, 8 to 10 minutes; maintain over low heat.
- In a large saucepan or risotto pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
- Add the caramelized onions and rice and stir until the grains are well coated with the oil and are nearly translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. sage and the rosemary. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.
- Add the simmering stock mixture a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding more.
- When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 30 minutes, stir in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, the cheese, salt and pepper.
- Add more stock if needed so the rice is thick and creamy. Let stand for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sage butter and serve immediately.