Butternut Squash Risotto

October is my favorite month. I love when the leaves begin to change colors and creates a magnificent palette in the sky. The weather is perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. I call it shorts and hoodie weather and it is the time of year, I wish I could capture and keep the whole year.

Although there are plenty of funny memes out there about the attack of pumpkin during this time, I look forward to pumpkin, spice and everything nice about the season. Although I do like pumpkin, I also love squash, especially butternut squash. (since pumpkin is actually a type of squash, this totally makes sense.)

Today’s recipe is a complete new one for me. I have never made risotto before, and I must admit, I was pretty intimidated before starting. In the end, what they say is true, risotto isn’t difficult, but it is a PiTA. (click here if you don’t know what that means)

Butternut Squash Risotto

This recipe makes A LOT of food! And I only paid $8 for the whole meal. You can’t beat that.
Ingredients:
one small to medium sized butternut squash, chopped
one small onion, chopped
one 16 oz. box of risotto. (I used Bellino)
32 oz. vegetable broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. butter
ground sage
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Peel butternut squash, clean out center and chop into small pieces. (Here’s a life hack for you – place butternut squash in microwave for 2 minutes in order to make it easier to peel and chop.)
  • Coat butternut squash in 2 Tbs olive oil. Sprinkle with salt (I use sea salt) and pepper. Spread on baking pan and place in oven on top rack. Bake until soft. Start checking around 45 minutes.
  • With about 20 minutes left on the timer for the butternut squash, begin to heat the vegetable broth. It is important that the broth is hot when you add the risotto.
  • Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a pan, and cook onions until translucent, add garlic – do not allow to brown.
  • Pour approximately 1/4 of the broth into a pot. Add risotto to the hot broth, and here’s the tough part, stir constantly until all the broth is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Once all liquid is absorbed, add another 1/4 broth and continue to stir until broth is absorbed. Continue this process until all broth is gone.
  • Add the remaining 2 Tbs butter and parmesan to risotto, stir vigorously. Add the onions, garlic and butternut squash and stir again until well mixed.
  • Sprinkle with ground sage and serve immediately.
  • I paired this Butternut Squash Risotto with a 2015 Materra Cunat Family Vineyards, Right Bank Merlot. Read about the winery and my tasting notes by clicking here.

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