Posted by: Josey Lyne Payne, Esq. | November 14, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto
adpated from Cook’s Illustrated 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 butternut squash, peel and diced to 1/2 inch pieces, about (about 3 1/2 cups)
5 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking.
Add squash in even layer and cook without stirring until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and browned, about 5 minutes longer.
Transfer squash to bowl and set aside.
Combine chicken broth and water in a large saucepan.
Cover saucepan and bring mixture to simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain bare simmer.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat.
When butter has melted, add onion and ¾ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened but not browned, 4 to 7 minutes.
Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes.
Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir 5 cups strained hot broth mixture into rice; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and rice is just al dente, 16 to 19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.
Stir in about 1/2 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 3 minutes; repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 more times, until rice is al dente and to your desired texture (some like it looser, others thicker).
Off heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, Parmesan, sage, and nutmeg.
Gently fold in remaining cooked squash.
**If desired, add up to 1/4 cup additional hot broth to loosen texture of risotto.
Serve immediately with some Parmesan sprinkled over top.


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