Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage
2 small butternut squashes, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing squash
1½ cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
Pinch ground cinnamon
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese, optional
8 fried sage leaves
Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly rub the flesh of one squash with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Bake, flesh side down until cooked through and nicely browned, about forty-five minutes. Let cool slightly, scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash.
Peel and dice the neck of the other squash into quarter inch pieces. You need one and a half cups. Steam the diced squash until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a saucepan bring your vegetable stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat another saucepan over medium heat. Add four tablespoons of olive oil and when hot add your onion, sage and thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and sweat the onions and herbs over medium heat for until softened, about five minutes. Add your rice and mix well to combine. Allow the rice to toast in the pan for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper. Begin to add your hot stock to the rice one cup at a time, maintaining a simmer. Do not add more liquid until the previous cup of stock has evaporated. Repeat this, stirring often until the rice is just finished cooking.
Remove risotto from the heat and add your diced squash and the mashed squash. Stir in the butter and once it has melted begin to fold in your Pecorino cheese if using Season to taste and finish with crumbled fried sage leaves. Serves six to eight.
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