Risotto with Butternut Squash & Sage

For you Kelsey.

From The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop.

This is a time consuming recipe because you have to cook the squash and then cook the risotto. Shortcut the process by cooking the squash in the microwave (or my favorite, the pressure cooker) with a little broth.

Serves 4

6 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, minced
6 large sage leaves, minced
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1/2 small squash)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a simmer. Keep warm on low heat.

Heat oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in a heavy-bottomed pot (medium size). Add onion, saute until translucent. Stir in minced sage and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in squash and cook 2 minutes, stirring.

If you are cooking the butternut squash in the pot:
Add wine and 1 cup broth, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Add more stock if needed. Uncover and cook off any extra liquid.

Stir in the rice and cook until the rice changes color, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup stock. (If the squash is cooked in the microwave, stir in the wine, squash and 1/2 cup stock.)

Cook, stirring until the stock is absorbed (not boiled off!).

Add another 1/2 cup stock, repeat. Keep adding stock and stirring until the rice is creamy and cooked about 25 minutes. If you run out of stock add hot water.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and remaining tablespoon of butter.

Serve in soup bowls. Top with more cheese, of course!

In our house this is the main course rounded out with salad, topped with nuts.

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