Monday, March 1, 2010

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Risotto

I found this tasty sounding recipe from a feature on Design*Sponge. I happened to still have some arborio rice from YEARS ago when I first was introduced to risotto. Back then, I wanted to make my own, so I went to a bulk store and bought a MASSIVE amount of rice. Enough rice to feed an Asian football team. I don't know what I was thinking. After this pumpkin risotto, I finally only have enough for one more batch. Shew!

I did derail from the original recipe quite a bit. I had some pumpkin puree I made in the Fall still in the freezer, so I didn't need to make any like the original recipe suggested. They roasted and pureed a pear along with their pumpkin. Fancy that!

I substituted roasted pumpkin chunks for butternut squash chunks. I liked the variety. They are very similar and go well together. The herbs and spices were a wonderful addition.

Here sits the rice and red onion after their drink of wine. It's crucial that you let all of the liquid absorb before you add the next addition.

Stirring is the key. I've tried to get past this with previous attempts, but if you want to make good risotto, you have to put forth the muscle. Don't even think of putting down that spoon!

Adapted from Jennie Love's Perfect Pumpkin Risotto

Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes (can be made in advance)

1 medium butternut squash
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t. coarse sea salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. finely minced fresh rosemary
pinch of white pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and cut the squash in half; scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Cut into 1 inch cubes and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on top of squash and toss to coat. Place in oven and bake until the flesh is soft and slightly browned, about 30 minutes.


4 C. vegetable stock
3 T. butter
3/4 C. diced onion
1 1/2 C. arborio rice
1/2 C. white wine
1/2 t. finely minced fresh rosemary
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 C. pumpkin puree
2 C. roasted butternut squash cubes (above)
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. salt (to taste)

Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for about two minutes until it is thoroughly coated with the butter and toasted a bit. Add the wine and let everything simmer for another minute or two until the wine has evaporated.

Set a timer for 18 minutes. Add about half a cup of hot stock to the risotto and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat this process, adjusting the amount of liquid you add to the needs of the rice, until 18 minutes is up. The closer the rice is to being done, the less liquid you will need to add. Add the pumpkin puree, nutmeg, rosemary, and a final bit of stock, if necessary, and stir vigorously to combine. When risotto has once again become thick and creamy, add the roasted pumpkin cubes and grated cheese and stir again to combine. Finally, finish the risotto by stirring in the heavy cream and adding pepper and salt to taste.

Serve immediately while hot, garnishing with addition grated cheese.

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