Recipe courtesy of Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen

The Dreamiest Butternut Squash Risotto

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Is there anything more heavenly than a luscious bowl of risotto, especially when made with sweet and hearty butternut squash? This recipe uses the squash two ways: pureed and stirred into the risotto, to increase the creaminess and give it a beautiful orange hue, and cubed and roasted until golden brown, to add texture and flavor at the end. We gild the lily by mixing in Pecorino Romano and drizzling the whole bowl with brown butter and sage as a final touch. The scoop will be divine!



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F; line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Trim the ends from the butternut squash with a sharp chef’s knife. Peel the squash and cut the bulb from the neck. Cut the neck into small dice (about 1/2 inch) and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Roast until tender and golden brown in spots, 20 to 25 minutes. Reserve.
  3. Meanwhile, halve the bulb and scoop out the seeds. Transfer to a medium microwave-safe bowl with 1 tablespoon water, cover and microwave until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Warm the chicken broth in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and keep warm.
  5. Transfer the tender squash bulb to a blender with 1/4 cup of the warm chicken broth and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Reserve.
  6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped sage, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter and stir until melted, about 1 minute. Add the rice and toast, stirring once, until it smells nutty and starts to turn light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has evaporated completely, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Ladle 1 cup of the warm broth into the rice and cook, stirring gently without stopping, until the rice has absorbed the liquid, 2 to 3 minutes (you will know it's time to add more broth when you move the rice aside and no liquid pools in the center). Repeat this process, adding more broth a ladleful at a time and stirring, until the rice is al dente, 18 to 20 minutes. If you prefer your risotto on the saucier side, add more broth 1/4 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. (You may have a little broth left over. If so, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)
  8. While the risotto cooks, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter is melted and the milk solids are just starting to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Toss in the remaining 2 tablespoons whole sage leaves (they should sizzle and fry) and cook until dark brown, about 30 seconds; remove from the heat.
  9. Stir the reserved squash puree into the risotto with the Pecorino Romano, half of the roasted squash, 1 teaspoon salt and a few more grinds of pepper. Ladle into bowls, top with the remaining roasted squash, drizzle with the brown butter and sage and add an extra sprinkle of Pecorino Romano.