Bring On the Comfort Food

Bring On the Comfort Food
Bring On the Comfort Food

Everybody has a weakness and mine is risotto. I’ve never understood what all the fuss is about over all of the constant stirring that is required to make creamy risotto.
There is just something so soothing about this quiet, repetitive process, so satisfying about knowing what is taking place with the rice and cheese becoming super-creamy from the stirring. Plus, you get a little upper arm work-out.
I’ve made so many different varieties of risotto, and with autumn’s chill in the air, I decided to make a seasonally-fresh Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage. This is so good, that even my rice-hating husband ate several helpings—and that’s a big deal to me!

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups Italian arborio rice
6 cups chicken
or vegetable broth
½ cup white wine
(like Pinot Grigio)
2 – 4 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes and roasted
¼ cup chopped, fresh sage
¼ cup cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (optional)
Salt and white pepper to taste
Garnish: Chopped, fresh sage, chives, or Italian parsley

On low-medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil together.

Sauté onions for about 5 minutes.

Add and sauté garlic for about another 5 minutes.

Place butternut squash cubes on a large, sided baking pan.

Drizzle olive oil all over squash cubes to coat evenly.

Sprinkle the chopped sage all over the oil-covered squash cubes to evenly coat.

Roast in a 450° oven for 15 minutes.

Increase the oven heat to “broil” and roast for another 5 – 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the squash to prevent burning.

If the squash is not enough for your preferences, continue to roast until desired. I like a dark char appears on the edges)

Remove squash from the oven and set aside to continue preparing the risotto.

Add arborio rice to the sautéed onions and garlic; stir thoroughly.

Begin to add the HOT broth, one cup at a time; stirring the mixture until the liquid is fully absorbed.

Add another cup of broth, stirring until liquid is absorbed; continue this process, stirring constantly, until all broth is absorbed into the rice. The rice will be more creamy as you continue to stir.

Add the wine, stir until absorbed completely.

Add the cheese(s) and stir until fully incorporated and creamy.

Add the cream and stir until creamy.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

TASTE, TASTE, TASTE and add any more of the ingredients that you prefer
Garnish: More roasted butternut squash cubes, chopped sage, chives, or Italian parsley.

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