Winter Squash Risotto

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
1 hr

Level:
Easy

Ingredients
Directions

Cut squash into medium size pieces, scrape out seeds and stringy flesh and discard. Steam cleaned pieces of squash for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Remove skin and mash smooth. Place stock in a saucepan and heat until simmering. In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, fry bacon piece until crisp. Remove bacon, leaving grease in the pan. Crumble bacon for use as a garnish and set aside. Add oil and shallots and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 5 minutes over moderately high heat. Stir slowly but constantly. This will "toast" the rice and start to turn it slightly golden and feel loose and dry. You should start to hear the rice "click." Add the wine all at once to the rice and cook over fairly high heat to boil it down. When the rice is almost dry, stir in 1 cup of stock and mashed squash. Simmer until the sock is absorbed. Continue adding stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until rice becomes creamy while the grains remain separate and firm, but not hard in the center of the grain. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and rosemary and stir. Stir in the butter and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Place in individual serving bowls and sprinkle with remaining cheese, crumbled bacon and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy! Yield: 4 to 6 main course servings

Hints for success: The pot must be heavy on the bottom to keep the temperature even during the cooking process. Arborio is a short grained rice. It is very starchy, which is necessary to produce the desired result of a creamy risotto. Look for a fat opaque center in the rice, known as "LaPerla," this indicates a good starch content. Wine is the first liquid to be added to the rice. The first liquid will be absorbed totally and the acid in the wine balances the starch and adds flavor.

Toasting the rice seals in the flavor. There should be about 3 times the amount of stock as rice. Make sure the stock is very hot. The stock is added slowly to the rice and releases the starch gradually, creating a creamy texture. Constant stirring is needed to produce the best results


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