Risotto’s a good weeknight meal. I’m not sure I do it exactly right, since, as far as I can remember, the only time I’ve ever had someone else’s risotto was a long time ago at a restaurant in Italy. S definitely has only had my risotto, due to his cheese aversion. I pile my portion with grated parmesan, and while he’ll still make a face if he gets a whiff of my plate, it’s a compromise that we can both live with.
This is what I do, but I’d be curious to hear if anyone else does anything differently. The other frequent variation is mushroom and peas.
Butternut Squash Risotto
(kind of from Sally Schneider’s A New Way to Cook)
1 medium/small butternut squash
5 cups stock (the better the stock, the better the risotto; use any kind, chicken/veggie/mushroom, as long as it’s good)
1/2 tb butter
1 ts olive oil
1/4 c finely chopped shallot (or red onions, or cooking onions as a last resort)
1 1/2 c Arborio rice (I’ve used very cheap short grain domestic varieties for very good results.)
1/2 c dry white wine
Peel, core, and cut squash into 3/4 – 1″ chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees until soft and browned on the edges. I always loose track of time, and overdo it, but probably 20 minutes? It can be hot, warm, or cold when adding to the risotto, so just set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the 5 cups of stock until simmering in a medium saucepan. Cover, and put on low to keep warm. In a large heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter and 1/2 ts oil. Add the shallot and saute until soft, ~ couple minutes. Add the rice, and stir constantly over medium heat. When the rice is opaque (~ 5 minutes), add the wine. Stir constantly until absorbed. Now start adding the stock; add 1/2 c at a time, and keep stirring constantly, until the stock is gone. It’s really hard to screw up, as long as you keep stirring.
Once all the stock is used up, stir in the roasted squash chunks (or whatever else). Now would be the time to stir in copious amounts of cheese, if that’s your thing. Sally Schneider says 1/2 c of aged cheese (parm-reg, pecorino, manchego, etc). Season with salt and pepper (watch the salt if using store stock). Fini!
Nutritional Info (from NutritionData.com)
per very large serving (1/3 recipe) (with parmesan in parens):
Fat 9g (13g)
Calories 372 (444)
Sodium 25% DV (36%)
Vitamin A 461% DV !