Because it’s getting chilly outside and technically winter is arriving sooner than we think, I needed to make a classic Autumn dish using my butternut squash. So I decided to make a classic risotto, with butternut squash, parmigiano-reggiano cheese and fresh sage. This is the ultimate comfort food!
Rich and creamy Arborio rice with chunks of butternut squash along with the savory mouth-filling flavor from grated parmigiano cheese, and the aromatic flavor of fresh sage makes this an outstanding dish to serve on a chilly night. It’s really yummy!
Even though restaurants will serve their risotto dishes as an appetizer or as an entree dish. We prefer to serve risotto as our main course. And as usual, we like to pair it with a glass of white wine, like a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. I even add a green salad as the side to complete the dinner. YUM!
This risotto really turned out terrific! Better than I expected, even the picky eaters in my family loved it. It’s fantastic for a meatless Friday and especially for vegetarians!
Here’s a tip: Always look for pre-cut packages of the butternut squash in your supermarket. They save a lot of time in the prep work. Then dice into 1/2 inch pieces. Also, a small butternut squash usually yields 3 to 4 cups when diced, just freeze the remaining cups for future use in soups and stews.
Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!
Butternut Squash Risotto with Cheese and Sage (Risotto alla Zucca)
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups winter squash- peeled, seeded and diced
- 3/4 cup onion – finely chopped
- 1+ 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 6 cups vegetable broth- simmering
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tsp. fresh sage- finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley – finely chopped
In a large sauté pan over medium heat to low heat, add olive oil and melt butter. Add squash and onion. Gently sauté for about 5 minutes, until onion becomes translucent.
Add rice and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until rice browns slightly, about 5 minutes. Pour in wine and simmer until liquid evaporates.
Add 1/2 of the simmering broth all at once to the rice. Raise the heat to bring to a boil. Cook the rice for about 15 minutes, stirring often. As the rice absorbs the broth, add some more, a little at a time.
Be careful not to add too much broth at the end of the cooking time. The rice should be naturally creamy, not swimming in broth or dry.
Stir in the parmigiano-reggiano and the sage. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and serve with more grated cheese at the table.
Serves 4 to 6