Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter Squash Risotto

This recipe is the perfect comfort food....and this coming from someone who, unfortunately for my waistline....loves comfort food. Mac and Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Pizza....all huge achilles heels for me. This Squash Risotto can definitely be added to that list. It's creamy and cheesy and so good. It is also super filling and is all you need to warm up a cold November night for dinner.

It's also a great way to use such a tasty winter vegetable. I love squash. Roasted, saute'd, turned into soup and especially roasted and mixed in with this risotto.

If you've never made risotto before, it's pretty easy, just a little time consuming and it definitely gives your arm a workout since you have to stir the rice the entire time you're cooking it...(it's like a pre-dinner workout so you can have seconds!) And enjoy a nice glass of vino too!

At least that's what I told myself when I went back for seconds...

Winter Squash Risotto

5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
3 cups chopped peeled butternut, hubbard, red kuri or kabocha squash (1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over chopped and peeled squash pieces and bake in the oven 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Place broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring, until translucent about 3-5 minutes. Add thyme, salt and pepper, cook for 30 seconds.

Add rice; stir until translucent, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed by the rice.

Stir in 1/2 cup of the hot broth; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed, until the rice is tender and creamy, 30 to 40 minutes total. (You may have some broth left.) Remove from the heat and stir in cheese.

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