Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Squash Risotto

Today I found myself with half of a butternut squash peeled and cleaned staring at me from my refrigerator shelf. It wasn’t enough to feed 3 hungry adults so I had to figure something out before it went bad!
Then I remembered saving a recipe that I found on the Italian Food at site by Kyle Phillips.

This is Kyle’s recipe that I made with the lonely half a butternut squash and it came simply delicious!
My husband who normaly doesn’t care too much for rice went back for seconds. That’s a winner in my house.

Squash Risotto - Risotto alla Zucca

Risotto made with winter squash is extremely popular in north Italy during the colder months. Little wonder, because a good winter squash has a delightful tangy sweetness to it, while the risotto has a libidinously creamy texture. Perfect on a cold, gray winter day! You'll need:
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
· Half a butternut squash, peeled and diced (or a slice of a larger winter squash, about 3/4 pound (350 g) diced)
· 1 1/2 cups (300 g) Carnaroli, Arborio, or other short-grained rice
· 1/2 cup dry white wine, warmed
· 1 quart (1 liter) stock (vegetable or bouillon will be fine)
· 1/4 cup olive oil
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 1/4 cup minced parsley
· 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano, or more, to taste
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
· Salt and Pepper to taste
Squash doesn't sauté well, so you will need to cook it separately and then add it to the rice.
Begin by putting the diced squash in a pot, adding broth or bouillon to cover, seasoning with a little pepper, and heat the pot over a medium flame.

Heat the remaining bouillon or stock in another pot.

In the meantime, chop the onion and sauté over a medium flame it in the olive oil in a different pot.

When the onion is translucent and light gold, add the rice and continue to sauté for another 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly lest the rice stick and burn. The grains of rice will become translucent.

While the rice is toasting, heat the wine in your microwave for about 30 seconds. Add it to the rice, and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated. Now add the simmering squash, the pieces of which will by this time be falling apart.

Stir gently, lest the rice stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, and add more liquid as the rice absorbs what's in the pot. Let the rice absorb most of the liquid (you're not making soup), but don't wait until it looks dry, because the grains will begin to flake if you do. Don't forget to check seasoning.Continue adding liquid until the rice reaches the al dente stage of doneness -- chewy but firm.

If you prefer a drier risotto, make the last ladle of liquid a little smaller. If you instead prefer a more liquid risotto (what's called all'onda, like a wave, in Italian) be a little more abundant with the final ladle.

Stir a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter into the risotto if you want a creamier texture, and then add the grated cheese, followed by minced parsley. Turn off the burner, cover the risotto, and let it sit for two minutes, during which time everything will come together and meld.

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