Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart
6 appetizer or 4 main course servings


For the Spiced Butter:
For the Caramelized Squash:
To Assemble the Risotto:


To prepare the squash butter: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. cover and set aside at room temperature. The spiced butter may be prepared up to 8 hours in advance, covered, and refrigerated.

To prepare the caramelized squash: In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Season the squash with salt and pepper, add it to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, about 6 minutes. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cook until the squash is caramelized, but still holding its shape, about 2 minutes. Set aside. The caramelized squash may be prepared as much as 1 hour in advance, covered, and held at room temperature.

To assemble the risotto: In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and keep hot on a very low flame.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the rice, sage, and thyme. Cook stirring with a wooden spoon, until the rice is coated, has released its starch, turns a milky opaque white, and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. 7 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and boil until completely reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle about 1 cup of the simmering stock into the rice. Cook, stirring often, until the stock is almost completely absorbed by the rice. Continue cooking and stirring, adding another cup of stock only when the previous addition has been absorbed. After 15 minutes, begin tasting the rice. At this point, add the remaining stock judiciously. The rice should be firm, yet cooked through in 18 to 20 minutes total cooking time.

Stir in the spiced butter and the parsley, and season with salt and pepper, then gently fold in the squash cubes, keeping them as intact as possible. Transfer the risotto to warmed bowls and serve immediately.


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