Our CSA has given us a ton of butternut squash this year. It started back in October or November, and we’ve gotten one or two in almost every single box since then. I hadn’t cooked much of it in my life, just a soup or two really, but now I’m a pro. And, it’s been wonderful having this much squash in the pantry all winter since it’s so versatile. This risotto will be the fifth butternut squash recipe I’ve blogged about, and the soup, macaroni & cheese, and gnocchi I’ve made multiple times this winter since posting them. Now that it’s spring, I should probably move on to asparagus and rhubarb, but Eatwell gave me two more butternut squashes last week, so here we are with another recipe.
There are quite a few versions of butternut squash risotto floating around online. Since Martha and Ina never fail me, I immediately flocked to them. Ironically, Martha’s is considerably more simple than Ina’s. I opted for Martha’s version, because hers required that the squash be in the pot for the entire duration of the risotto cooking time, and I thought the end result would be squash-ier. Ina’s looks excellent as well, so I may try that with the other squash.
If you’ve made risotto before, the recipe is a piece of cake. If you’ve never made risotto before, here’s a good time to learn. The recipe will probably serve 3-4 as an entree and 6 or so as a side dish. The original recipe uses sage, which I omitted simply because that just seemed too wintery. I think it was great without, though just about any fresh herb would be nice as a garnish.
Butternut Squash Risotto
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth, mixed with 1/2 cup water and heated
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until edges soften, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add rice; stir to coat. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add 1/2 cup hot broth mixture. Cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, 35 to 40 minutes total.
Stir in Parmesan and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve immediately, garnished with more Parmesan and herbs, if desired.