If you watch cooking competition shows (one of my guilty TV-watching pleasures) you know that risotto is a dangerous dish to make. The judges always seem to think it is the wrong texture, overcooked, undercooked, mushy, runny, not runny enough, bland, etc. I guess I don’t even know what the perfect texture for risotto is. I think it is fair to say that mine is not the perfect consistency but I don’t give a rip. I love it. So there.
My grandma loves to tell a story about me when I was four years old. Apparently it was a very cold day in March and I came downstairs in a swimsuit. My mom told me to change, I refused, she told me I looked ridiculous and I said, “Well, I looked in the mirror and I think I look beautiful.” I don’t think I actually said “so there”, but it was inferred.
I really, really love butternut squash so I am crazy about this risotto. I actually made it twice for my family over the holiday break. Everyone was a fan, even my 17 month old niece.
I was so excited to use one of my new Christmas presents with this recipe, a garlic rocker. I bet you didn’t even know you needed a garlic rocker! I prefer the garlic rocker over a garlic press because the garlic does not get stuck and it is much easier to clean. I live for cooking gadgets.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing
· 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed in ½ inch pieces
· 1 Tb olive oil
· Salt and pepper
· 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
· 3 Tb butter
· 1 onion, chopped
· 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
· 1 cup risotto
· ½ cup white wine
· 1 cup room temperature water (optional)
· 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the squash cubes in a large bowl with the olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the squash is soft. Stir twice during roasting.
Heat the chicken broth in a small saucepan over low heat, bring to a simmer and keep on low.
In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the risotto and stir to combine. Allow the risotto to toast in the pan for 3-5 minutes. Pour in the white wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed.
Gradually add in the warm chicken broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Do not add the next ladle of broth until the liquid has been absorbed in the pan. If the rice is undercooked after using all of the chicken broth, gradually add in the water until the rice is cooked through and creamy.
After the squash has roasted, transfer about 1 ½ cups of the cooked squash to a small bowl and mash with a fork. Stir the mashed squash into the cooked risotto until combined. Gently stir in the remaining cubed squash and parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary.