RISOTTO WITH SQUASH AND SAGE        back to home

4 servings

Making risotto isn’t difficult- it just takes some patience. When making it avoid other kitchen distractions- give it your full attention. Once made, you can cover it and keep it warm for a bit and finish putting the rest of the meal together. Risotto gets it’s creamy texture from the kernels of rice rubbing up against each other and releasing it’s starches. This is more about the technique of making this wonderful Italian rice dish. Many variations are possible, stir in some pureed  peas, roasted red pepper, pesto, pancetta, or shrimp, to mention a few favorites.

1 cup arborio rice

2 T olive oil + 1 T butter- for the rice

2 cups squash- such as butternut or kabocha, peeled seeded and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

2 T fine minced shallots

1 T fine chopped sage

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 cups (about) low sodium chicken stock- heated

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 T olive oil- for the squash roasting

Salt and pepper

Roasting the squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed squash with the 2 T olive oil and some salt and pepper. Lay the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 10-12 minutes- give it a stir and roast for another 10-15 minutes until tender and the squash starts to caramelize. Depending on the variety of squash- the roasting can take up to 40 minutes.

You can do this  step ahead of time and keep at room temp for a couple hours if you like and just re- warm the squash in the oven right before serving.

Cooking the rice

Have the heated stock- and a ladle right next to a med- large heavy pot that you will make the risotto in. Melt the butter and olive oil and when bubbly add the shallots. Cook, stirring often on medium heat until soft, but not brown. Add the rice - stir about a minute to evenly coat the rice with the oil. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed- stirring constantly about 2 minutes.

Ladle 1/2 cup of stock, and simmer until absorbed- stirring frequently. Keep adding the stock- 1/2 cup at a time and stirring until absorbed before adding more. You want to do this until the rice is tender and creamy. Start to taste for tenderness after about 20-25 minutes. Have extra stock ready if you sense  you are going to run out of heated stock before the rice is done.

When the rice is tender and creamy add in the sage and parmesan and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve you can either fold in the squash to the risotto or sprinkle the rice with the warm roasted squash- and garnish with some fresh sage.