I remember a time when I was super intimidated to make risotto. Then I made it and wondered why I was so scared of something so easy. Butternut squash risotto is my favorite way to eat risotto. This is Fall’s language of love right here. It’s hearty and warm, made with in-season ingredients.
I can definitely see why some people are still scared of risotto. Maybe it’s because I every time I think about risotto, I hear Gordon Ramsay on the early days of Hell’s Kitchen yelling obscenities at the young chefs for their risotto not being perfect. Perhaps you have the same memory.
Gordon would be extremely proud of the home cooks attempting such a dish. However, he would also probably agree that risotto doesn’t take a whole lot of skill, but patience. It’s the patience that makes it worth it.
Why does it take so long? You stir in the liquid (stock, broth, or water) a little at a time, letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more. It’s just a part of the technique. You also have to babysit risotto. I never leave mine. I might step away for a second right after I add the liquid to grab something, but I never leave the room – never. I love it too much for it to burn.
We make a few different risottos in our house. My kids love mushroom risotto and I love to put peas in it. Everyone loves it when I add Italian sausage to risotto – always a crowd pleaser. And I always add parmesan. I’m sure you could use a different cheese, but parmesan is my favorite. It goes in every risotto and it’s always shredded fresh, never pre shredded. It won’t melt right.
I hope you try to make this recipe and build your confidence to branch out and make your own creations.
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash, about 1 small butternut squash or use frozen and thawed
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small white or yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup diced)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using water, may need more)
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1/2 cup finely freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Cube butternut squash into bite sized pieces and place on baking sheet
- Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Toss to coat
- Roast in oven for 20 minutes or until soft
- Remove and set aside
- In a medium dutch oven or pan, add 1 T olive oil and butter over medium heat
- Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring
- Add rice and salt, and stir
- Add stock or water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing rice to soak up liquid before adding more
- Continue adding liquid until it is gone, while stirring (about 25 minutes)
- Turn off heat and add parmesan cheese, sage, and butternut squash
- Stir to combine
- Serve immediately