Mariangela taught me a few tricks of the trade to making her risotto:
- Don't forget to shred a carrot into the mix. Since carrot is a natural sweetener, it will bring out the sweetness of the butternut squash.
- Don't forget to toast the rice a bit before you start adding liquid. It brings out the flavor of the rice and also helps in getting that nice, slightly al dente chew at the end.
- Don't forget to bring the broth to a simmer before adding it to the rice.
- Don't forget to add the broth one ladle at a time, waiting until it is absorbed by the rice until more is added.
- Don't forget to pour yourself a nice glass of wine while you stir.
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), or 1 package pre-cut
- 32 oz chicken broth (2 boxes)
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
- Olive oil for roasting and finishing
- Preheat oven to 450Â°F with the rack in the middle.
- If using pre-cut squash, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast on a foil-lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. (Skip to step 5).
- If using a whole squash, microwave the entire squash for 3-4 minutes so that it's easier to cut through. Halve squash lengthwise and discard seeds.
- Peel one half and cut into 1-inch dice. Put remaining half, cut side down, in an oiled foil-lined baking pan with diced squash and season with salt and pepper. Bake the squash, stirring the diced pieces occasionally, until tender and browned lightly, 20-25 minutes. Holding halved squash in a kitchen towel, scoop out flesh and coarsely chop.
- Set aside. (Roasting can be done 1-2 days ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.)
- In a saucepan bring broth to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer.
- In a large pot melt the butter and add onion, carrot, garlic, and ginger. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened.
- Stir in rice and let it toast a bit, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
- Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed.
- Then stir in the broth ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Keep the risotto at a simmer throughout. Continue simmering, stirring, and adding broth, letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until about half of broth has been added.
- Stir in diced and chopped squash, honey, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and continue simmering and adding broth in same manner until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still slightly al dente, about 20-25 minutes.
- Stir in the grated Parmigiano and combine.
- Spoon risotto into serving bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few curls of Parmigiano using a vegetable peeler.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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