Two of my most favorite things are risotto and butternut squash…so obviously putting the two together creates a comforting yet gourmet meal, in just 45 minutes. I know that making a risotto seems intimidating, but it’s actually very easy if you understand the technique and don’t mind hanging out in the kitchen for 25-30 minutes. I find that making risotto is almost relaxing…the constant stirring and wonderful aromas that fill the kitchen are cooking therapy to me, helping me unwind from a long day. The biggest secret for cooking a risotto correctly is heating your cooking liquid before adding it to the rice. It prevents interruption to the cooking process…so bring your broth to a boil and keep it on low heat in a saucepan next to your risotto pan. This dish is also really pretty…Sorry for the bad iPhone photo!
- 2 cups of peeled and finely diced butternut squash
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small onion chopped, about 1/2 cup
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cups of Arborio rice (best type of rice for risotto)
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 6-8 cups of chicken broth, kept warm on the stove
- 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Chopped crispy bacon – Optional
- Pierce holes in your butternut squash with a knife in several places and place butternut squash on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 5-6 minutes on high. This will help you peel your squash and make cutting it a lot easier. Dice.
- In a medium saucepan, bring your broth to a boil and keep warm on low heat.
- Melt butter in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or braiser on medium heat. (I use my Le Creuset braiser for essentially everything) Add the butternut squash, garlic and onion and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine. Cook, stirring constantly until the all the liquid is absorbed into the rice. Add 2 ladles of broth to the rice, and stir until absorbed. Continue adding the broth in small amount, stirring until absorbed before adding more.
- Continue adding broth and stirring until the rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes. The rice should still have a little bite to it, it should not be completely soft. Test the rice throughout the process to prevent overcooking.
- When the rice is tender, add salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and combine until melted.
- Serve risotto in shallow bowls and top with additional Parmesan and bacon, if desired.