Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

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Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 to 4 cups good-quality chicken stock
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

    Directions

    Note -- Read before making:



    This is a classic Italian rice specialty. Key to this dish is the rice, chicken stock, cheese and cooking method.



    Use a short-grain rice such as arborio, plus quality chicken stock -- either homemade or from a good-quality chicken stock reduction or demi-glaze.



    Use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated. You can buy this at Italian markets, finer markets and grocery stores.



    While cooking the rice, add the stock 1/2-cup at a time, stirring continually and allowing the stock to absorb into the rice before adding the next 1/2-cup of stock.




    Squash



    1. Heat oven to 450°. Halve squash lengthwise and discard seeds.



    2. Add a little vegetable oil to a shallow baking pan; place squash flesh side down in pan.



    3. Bake in middle of oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until it can be handled.



    4. Using a paring knife, score the squash into cubes, then scoop out the cubes with a spoon (make sure you don't get the skin).



    Risotto



    1. Melt butter in a large skillet; add onions and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent.



    2. Add rice and coat well with butter.



    3. Add 1/2 cup stock and stir constantly, letting it slowly absorb into the rice. Add another 1/2 cup of stock at a time and repeat as before. Continue adding stock until the risotto is creamy and the rice is firm but not chewy.



    4. Stir in the squash, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt, pepper and cumin until everything is heated through.



    5. Remove from heat and serve with extra cheese at the table.



    Yield: 4 servings

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