My sister, Vicky, and I took an amazing trip out to the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen yesterday, and I will be posting about this trip separately very soon, once I can organize all of my thoughts properly. It was an incredible experience, there is so much to say and I can’t wait to share it with you. After the beautiful drive, we went back to my parent’s house for our usual Sunday dinner with the whole family, where I made a big pot of this delicious risotto. Nothing sounded better than a delicious Autumn dinner with squash after driving through beautiful New York looking at all the colorful leaves and seeing farm stands selling squash everywhere. Vicky and I ended up stopping at one and I picked up butternut and acorn squashes and two beautiful sugar pumpkins for baking, so look out for lots of squash and pumpkin recipes in the next week or so. YUM!
I have never made a squash risotto myself, but I have eaten it at restaurants before and I have been so excited for squash season to come so I could try it out. It was incredible. So many delicious Fall flavors, and it was so filling and satisfying. The squash is so sweet and perfect with the spinach and salty tang from the cheeses, the colors in this dish were as pretty as the countryside we had driven through all day. Oh and I really love one pot meals so much, such easy prep and clean-up. My dad was very concerned this wouldn’t be enough food for 7 adults, but not only was it enough, but seconds were had by most of us and there were even leftovers.
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
serves 8 as main-course
3-4 lb butternut squash (or two smaller squashes)
6-8 cups organic, free-range chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make vegetarian)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted organic butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely grated blend of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
4 oz arugula or baby spinach (6 cups), stems discarded and leaves very coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Halve squash lengthwise and seed, then cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and season with salt. Roast slices, skin side down, in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until tender and golden, about 50 minutes.
Set aside 6 crescent-shaped squash slices for serving and keep warm. Cut flesh from remaining slices into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding skin.
When the squash has about 10 minutes left, you can begin the risotto. Bring broth to a simmer and keep covered and barely at a simmer.
Meanwhile, cook onion in butter and olive oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add rice, garlic, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy-looking but still al dente (it should be the consistency of thick soup), about 25-30 minutes. (There may be leftover broth)
Stir in squash pieces, then stir in cheese, salt, sage, and arugula (or spinach) and simmer, stirring, 1 minute. Serve risotto immediately, spooned over reserved squash slices, top with fresh cheese and freshly ground pepper.