Happy Belated Thanksgiving! & Butternut Squash Risotto 😋

Hello all! I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A. for a while. I’ve had a very busy schedule and a lot going on in the past two months! Life is crazy! I hope you all had an awesome, delicious, button-popping thanksgiving dinner! I know I did!
A new addition to our dinner table this year: Butternut Squash Risotto. Squash is in season.. Risotto is comforting in this horrid weather.. So I figured, why not?! Even though it’s too late to have this dish at your Thanksgiving dinner table, you can enjoy it any day this season.

Here’s the basics of what you’ll need:

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First things first. Cook the butternut squash. This can be daunting to peel because it’s so hard, but I have an easy way.
Start by cutting of the top and bottom to give yourself a flat surface area. From there, it should be easy to peel.

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After you’ve peeled the squash, it’s time to cut it up. I cut it into about 1/2 by 1/2 inch pieces. And no, they were not perfect.. But when I think of comfort food, I don’t think of perfection anyway. 😉

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Now, to make your life a whole lot easier… par-cook the squash. I sautéed it until it was 5-6 minutes from being done and seasoned it with dried sage, nutmeg, and salt.

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Now for the rice portion of this risotto. Start out with a heavy gauge pot and melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. To that, add 1/2 of an onion small diced.

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Now, to make a truly authentic Italian risotto, make sure you get no color (caramelization) on your onions. Sautéed them until they’re just translucent and tossed in your minced garlic for the last few seconds.
While your onions are sweating, heat a pot of chicken or vegetable stock on the burner behind the one you’re using to sweat the onions. I used low sodium so i could control the salt content. ☺️(REMEMBER: To make risotto, you have to ladle hot stock in one ladleful at a time while almost constantly stirring, to develop the creamy consistency. So this is IMPORTANT!)

The next step, which is paramount in developing flavor is toasting your short grain Arborio rice in the butter and olive oil. This gives the rice a divine nutty flavor and aroma.

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Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes. Next, deglaze with you’re favorite white cooking wine. (As I always say, if you’re not using cooking wine, make sure the wine is something you’re comfortable drinking).

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Once all the wine has been absorbed into the rice, start ladling in one ladleful of stock at a time. Once each addition has been absorbed, add one more and so on and so on. Don’t walk away from this! It needs almost constant stirring or it won’t be creamy!

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When the rice is a few minutes shy of al dente (“to the tooth” in Italian ;soft on the outside with a little bite inside but NOT crunchy; soft but not mushy), it’s time to add the squash.

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When everything is tender and bubbly, it’s time to finish the risotto. Turn the heat off and remove the pot from the burner. Add in a pat of butter and a few grates of your favorite hard cheese. I used Locatelli Romano here, but you could use anything from Parmigiana Reggiana to Asiago! And make sure to adjust your seasoning at the end with salt and
white pepper!

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And that’s that! Fancy sounding dish with pretty straight forward execution. Hope you give it a try! Comment questions or email me and I’ll be more than happy to answer! And I will definitely try to post much more often!
Enjoy.💋🍜

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