Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 4-6

As you will see, we are big fans of risotti. They are easy to make, versatile, and adaptable to the produce of the season. In fact, they are one of our main events, as we call them, the dishes we simply won’t live without, and cook all the time.  This butternut squash risotto combines the smooth texture of the blended roasted butternut squash with the traditionally prepared rice turning the dish into a creamy and delightful appetizer or main course. Remember, you can always use brown rice if you want more fiber, just increase the amount of broth/water as well as the cooking time (white rice takes 20 minutes and brown rice 40-50 minutes to cook). Enjoy!

1 medium-sized butternut squash
1 small onion
2 cups of arborio, vialone or carnaroli rice (or short grain brown rice): ½ cup per adult (or two children)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups broth or water/stock cube
2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds.
Place butternut squash face down on an oiled baking sheet, place in oven and roast until the squash is tender (approx. 40 minutes,). You’ll want to begin roasting it 15 minutes before you start the risotto, so that it is tender in time.
Finely dice onion and sauté in a wide pan with the heated olive oil. Stir for about 5 minutes.
Add rice and toast in onion mixture until it becomes glassy, continuing to stir. Do not let onions or rice brown.
Add white wine and let it absorb – about 5 minutes.
Add broth bit by bit or – to save time – in two batches while stirring over low-medium heat  – about 12 minutes.
While the rice cooks, remove butternut squash from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Gently (the squash will still be very hot) scoop out the flesh of the squash, and mash either by blender or a hand-held mixer.
When most of the liquid is absorbed, add the butternut squash and stir well. A Tsp of butter (or cream) is optional and makes the rice very creamy. Some olive oil is a good substitute.
Add the Parmesan and adjust seasoning.
Leftovers can be reheated by adding a little water.

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