At our grown-up dinner club last week, we decided to theme it up Italian style.
We’ve already gone halfway around the world in our kitchen with foodie friends, and Italy has been waiting.
So we went to Italy. Figuratively, but wish it was literally.
On the menu was Osso Bucco and Butternut Squashy Risotto. The Osso Bucco was totally fab, but the highlight was absolutely this risotto…
We’ve long been fans of risotto but I only recently (finally) got the routine down. It’s because of the fussy rep thing that I threw it on the back burner for so long.
But hello, it’s so easy. Way easier than pie 🙂
Once you get the feel for risotto you’ll be able to do it freehand. You probably won’t even need to look at a recipe afterwards. Really truly.
I added butternut squash because it’s all about late-autumn eats right now and we are in the throes of the holiday season.
This Butternut Squash Risotto would be a seriously awesome side dish in any holiday spread.
The risotto is cooked up perfectly tender and soft yet not mushy.
The flavors are savory, buttery, with a sprinkle of herbs and Parmesan. Light yet hearty.
The roasted butternut squash is an amazing compliment to the flavors in this dish.
Just one biggish thing must be known: risotto needs to be gobbled on, immediately after cooking.
If you must do some of it ahead of time, here’s how: cook it halfway, stop and remove from heat, and finish up the cooking process when you’re ready to serve.
Once it’s finished cooking, it’s eat time. That’s super important if you want to prevent mushy risotto on the plates.
Here’s to tossing some cultural comfort into the holiday meals this season.
Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 TB olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups good chicken stock, hot
- 2 TB salted butter
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice, uncooked
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F with rack on middle position. Peel and cube butternut squash into 3/4 inch cubes. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread squash out over the baking sheet; toss with olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and roast for 25 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, saute the butter, bacon, and onions on medium low until cooked through and translucent, about 10 min, stirring often. Add rice and garlic. Stir to coat well. Add wine and cook 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the rice, with 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Stir and simmer until stock is almost fully absorbed, 5-10 min.
- Continue simmering and adding 1 cup of stock at a time, stirring very few minutes. The key is to keep adding liquid and letting rice fully absorb it, a cupful at a time. It takes about 30 minutes for rice to be tender and all of the broth has been used/absorbed. Remove from heat, gently toss in roasted squash, parsley, and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Did you make this?
Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram
Source: Chew Out Loud, inspired by Ina Garten
Bring on the Holiday Sides:
- Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Apples. This alone turned me into a cornbread stuffing fanatic.
- Creamy Baked Mashed Potatoes. Because they’re creamy, baked, and make-ahead!
- Sausage and Apple Stuffing. So so much better than any boxed stuff ever.
- Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash. Sweet, savory, holiday-ready.