So, the husband and I always make out a meal plan before we go grocery shopping. We decide what we’re going to be eating for the next week (sometimes two) and that makes shopping a LOT easier.
This past week I decided I wanted to try a butternut squash risotto recipe because…well, it’s fall. If you’ve read more than one entry in this blog you probably already know my love of everything autumn and my love of squash, so it’s not strange that I got ridiculously excited about this risotto recipe.
The problem was, once we got to the store there was literally only one butternut squash left. And it was SIX POUNDS. What in the world was I supposed to do with six pounds of butternut squash? Well, I bought it anyway. Mostly because I didn’t even think that all of the pumpkin patches would have squash this time of year, but also because I love butternut squash so much I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to eat it in a couple different forms.
So we got the thing home, cubed it, made some soup with about two pounds of it, froze that. Decided I would roast some of the cubes with a little maple syrup and cinnamon later on in the week (recipe to come). Then I got to make this:
Butternut Squash Risotto
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I never make my risotto with wine, I subbed in 1/2 cup veggie broth)
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth, mixed with 1/2 cup water and heated
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
1) Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add cubed butternut squash. Season with salt and pepper. Stir frequently while cooking to make sure the squash doesn’t stick. Cook until the edges of the butternut squash soften, approximately 6-8 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a separate pan, place veggie broth and heat to a gentle simmer. Keep this broth warm throughout cooking.
3) Add rice to butternut squash mixture and stir to coat. Allow to toast in the pan for approximately 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of white wine and cook until almost all liquid has evaporated. (This is where I subbed in veggie broth for wine.)
4) Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1/2 cup hot broth mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next half cup.
5) After the last bit of veggie broth has been added, stir mixture until most liquid has been absorbed and the rice looks creamy. Remove from heat, add Parmesan cheese and sage. Stir until mixed well and cheese has melted.
6) Serve immediately and garnish with more Parmesan and sage if desired.
If you notice in the original recipe, which is a Martha Stewart recipe, they tell you to add an extra 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt at the end of cooking. DO NOT DO IT. That is either a typo or someone is crazy because that is WAY too much salt. The broth has enough salt in it that you won’t need to add the extra at the end. Even if you use low-sodium broth, that extra salt they say to add at the end will overpower any good flavors.
And this dish does have an amazing flavor. I absolutely LOVED it. It was delicious and creamy and perfect on a cool night.
Since I mentioned that I replace the white wine with broth, I will say that I honestly have no idea what kind of difference that makes in the flavor. I have never made risotto with wine, I always replace it with broth. It’s just easier and then I don’t have a bottle of cooking wine hanging around my house that would only be used on the rare occasion that I make risotto. If you try it with wine, let me know how it goes!
Next time I’ll probably halve the recipe because it was supposed to feed four and the leftovers did not heat up so well (which isn’t surprising, but I tried anyway).
Either way, this is an amazing autumn dinner that you should definitely try.