Butternut Squash Risotto
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 cups Canaroli rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup butternut squash puree, recipe follows
- 4 to 6 cups rich chicken stock, hot
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnishing
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Wild mushrooms:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound fresh wild mushrooms, trimmed of stems and sliced if necessary
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Butternut Squash Puree:
- 1 large butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs rosemary
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and saute the shallots until translucent and soft but not brown. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add the rice and stir until all of the grains are evenly coated with butter and begin to turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and stir over medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the butternut squash puree and 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining salt, stir to combine, then begin to add the chicken stock in 1/2 cup increments. Allow the stock to bubble for a moment, shake the pan and then stir until the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this process with each addition of stock. Add enough stock so that the rice is cooked al dente and slightly creamy; be careful not to overcook. Stir in the Parmesan; add remaining salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
For the Wild mushrooms: In a large saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add the mushrooms and the herbs. Saute the mushrooms until golden brown on all sides. Season with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Serve the risotto in shallow bowls, garnished with the wild mushrooms and a little fresh grated Parmesan, if desired.Butternut Squash Puree:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rub the cut side of both squash halves with the olive oil and honey. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and place 2 sprigs of both thyme and rosemary on each half of the squash. Cover with another sheet of aluminum foil and bake in the oven until tender, 1 hour. Set aside to cool. Remove the herb sprigs and discard. Scoop the squash out of the shell and puree in the food processor. Add a little extra salt, pepper or honey, to taste.
Yield: 2 to 3 cups
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