The Spice Garden
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
1small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes olive oil salt and pepper 1/2 tsp. ground sage 5 c. chicken broth 1 small onion, small dice 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp. butter 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 c. Arborio rice 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated 1/4 c. Mascarapone cheese (cream cheese can be substituted)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the prepared squash with some olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a sprayed roasting pan. cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes. remove foil and flip squash around to brown the edges. continue roasting uncovered for another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, turn into a serving dish, and toss with the ground sage. Set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, saute the onion, garlic, butter, and olive oil.
When the onions and garlic are transparent and pungent, add the Arborio rice and continue sauteing until the rice begins to brown, then add 1 c. of the broth (be careful because the steam will really come up off the pan!).
Stir the bubbling broth and rice and then lower the heat to just above a simmer. Stir frequently until the broth is almost absorbed and then add 1 more cup of broth. Continue stirring frequntly until that broth is almost absorbed and add the third cup of broth... repeat the process. After the fourth cup of broth of broth is almost absorbed, taste the rice to see if it is close to done...
Risotto should be a bit al dente... the nature of Arborio is such that it gets a creamy soft outer coating with a soft/firm nugget at its center. This is where personal taste enters the picture. If the risotto is still too firm for your taste, add part of the fifth cup of broth and continue stirring now and then.
When the rice tastes perfectly al dente, fold in the Parmesan and Mascarapone cheese and stir gently to melt.
Fold in the roasted squash, turn into a serving dish and serve immediately.
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