I’m just going to come right out and say it. I’ve never made risotto before. Well not up until about two weeks ago. It’s a dish I always wanted to make but never put the time and effort into figuring out the risotto magic. I learned there’s not much to figure out. It’s an easy dish to make but it does require a whole lotta TLC. Meaning, you really can’t leave it to stand on its own. My motto for risotto, inspired by Little Nemo, is just keep stirring, just keep stirring, just keep stirring. The thing I love about risotto is you can be creative and really add just about anything to it. You could even make a dessert risotto if your sweet tooth desired.
You might be noticing a trend with my cooking this Fall that all my recipes either include apples, butternut squash, or pumpkin, and you know what, I’m okay with that.
Butternut Squash Risotto
1 small yellow onion
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
28 oz vegetable broth mixed with 1/2 cup water and heated
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried sage (I couldn’t find fresh but would recommend 1 tbsp fresh sage)
1/3 cup Parmesean cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until edges soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Add onion and garlic after squash has cooked for 3-4 minutes.
Add rice; stir to coat. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add 1/2 cup hot broth mixture. Cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, 35 to 40 minutes total. Add dried sage with about 15 minutes cooking time left (if using fresh sage, add once remove risotto from heat).
Stir in Parmesan, nutmeg and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
I served the risotto with roasted Brussels Sprouts and wild-caught herb-marinated turbot. I then enjoyed it by itself for lunch and dinner on the days following.
Yes, risotto requires a lot of attention. If you don’t keep stirring, don’t keep stirring, you are bound to find the rice sticking to the bottom of your pan. But I think the TLC that you put into risotto makes it that much of a better dish. Risotto is a perfect warm meal for a Fall or Winter evening.