Weeknight Butternut Squash RisottoCourse: SidesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
There are many ways to make Butternut Squash Risotto. In the past, I would scrape all the innards from the squash to make a squash broth to use in my risotto, but as a working Mom, I have simplified the process to make the preparation and clean up of my Butternut Squash Risotto as easy and fast as possible. Some people roast the whole squash intact then scrape it into the risotto, but I personally enjoy having distinct chunks of squash in my Butternut Squash Risotto, so instead, I peel, cube and roast the squash prior to adding it to the pot.
Active cook time for any risotto is typically around 30 minutes, and the prep for this Butternut Squash Risotto can be accomplished in about 15 minutes if you are a relatively experienced home cook. If you are a beginner, give yourself extra time to peel and cube the squash, so you can do it safely. Sometimes I roast the butternut squash ahead of time (in the morning, for example) so that this Butternut Squash Risotto feels like a legitimate 30 minute meal.
Also, in the past, I would freshly grate my own Parmesan, but in the interests of time, I often use pre-grated Parmesan or Pecorino from the store. Nonetheless, non-negotiable in my Butternut Squash Risotto are heavy cream, which adds a kiss of richness and a small amount of fresh sage.
2 cups Arborio rice
1 medium butternut squash
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp white wine
8 cups chicken stock (you will probably need less, but I like to have a bit extra just in case)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated using a microplane grater
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
5-6 fresh sage leaves, sliced into ribbons just before serving risotto
freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat stock in a medium pot, and keep at a low simmer on a back burner.
- Preheat oven to 400° (F). Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with grapeseed oil and season with 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and a few cranks of freshly cracked pepper. Roast until starting to brown, about 25 minutes.
- In a 4 qt pot, heat 2 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, stir in rice, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add wine and stir until evaporated.
- Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more. Cook until rice is creamy but still a little al dente (about 25-30 min). Stir in heavy cream then cheese, and stir until incorporated. Stir in butternut squash, mashing some pieces against side of pot so it incorporates into and colors risotto slightly. Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper. Top with sliced sage right before serving.