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I remember the very first time I tried risotto. We were on our honeymoon in Paris and Mikey ordered it at a restaurant. I though it was soooo weird… I couldn’t figure out if it was pasta or rice and the confusion made me not like it very much. hahaha I didn’t have it again for a pretty long time.
Fast forward a few months and Mikey has it again at a local restaurant. It was a Parmesan Bacon risotto. Oh my goshhhh, it was delicious! So cheesy, rich and flavorful, I knew I had to make it at home. Now, I always thought it would be SO hard to make because well, risotto sounds fancy. And we all know fancy=hard, right?
This was the easiest dish I’ve made in a long time. It seems complicated when I write out the steps, but it really isn’t. It’s just throwing everything in a pot and then adding liquid little by little and stirring constantly until it’s absorbed. It is not hard, but it’s definitely hands on, at least for about 15 minutes. Don’t be scared of trying it though! I promise it’s worth it.
When the cooler months hit, I wanted a delicious risotto that was warm with depth of flavor. I was actually roasting a butternut squash soup to make for dinner the following evening when I wondered what it would be like to add some in the dish. Boy was it amazing! It added some soft texture which was nice, but even better: a hint of sweetness! I’ve come to realize that butternut squash is quite delicious with just about everything! hahaha
I added a little bit of balsamic vinegar over the top because it really gives it that little pop of delicious tangy-ness that it needs. Just imagine all the flavors together in your mouth:
the richness of the risotto, sweetness of the butternut squash and little tang of balsamic.
SO GOOD. You guys have got to try this!
If you make this recipe, be sure to hashtag #toeatdrinkandbemarried. I want to see it!
Butternut Squash Risotto
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Peel squash, remove seeds and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Lay squash on a baking sheet and season with garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss it all to coat squash. Roast for around 30 minutes, until squash is tender and golden. Remove from oven and remove garlic cloves. Purée half of the squash and set the other half aside.
- Bring chicken stock to a simmer over low-heat in a covered pot.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent and softened, around 8 minutes. Stir in rice and mix until coated and grains become clear, about 4 minutes. Stir often so it doesn’t stick.
- Add wine and continue to cook and stir until it has been completely absorbed. Using a ladle or measuring cup, add 3/4 cup of hot broth to the rice. Use a wooden spoon to stir rice constantly. When the rice has absorbed most (but not all) of the liquid, add about another 3/4 cup broth and puréed sqash. Continue to add broth when mixture gets thick, stirring constantly, until all the broth has been used, about 18 minutes. At this point, the risotto should be al dente. However, if you like it a little softer, you can always add water little by little until it is the texture you like.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the butter, squash pieces, and 1/2 cup Asiago. Once butter has melted, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with remaining 1/2 cup Asiago, chunks of butternut squash and drizzled lightly with balsamic vinegar (or balsamic glaze).
Want another delicious chilly weather recipe?