I love risotto. I've had a few different varieties but I've only ever made sun-dried tomato and goat cheese risotto before. Today I tried a new kind. I found it here on Pink Parsley. I had an acorn squash in the fridge that I had to use up and from the moment I found this recipe, I knew that was how I was going to use it. I made a few little changes. The original recipe is for Butternut Squash, but I actually never realized there was a difference so I substituted the Acorn Squash instead. I also roasted it for a bit before I put them in the frying pan. I did not use the insides (fibers and seeds) of the squash because I don't have a fine mesh strainer to help strain them out of the broth. I didn't use saffron because I couldn't find it at the store. The last change I made was I used a smaller amount of sage based on the comment that Josie made on her blog that her husband felt he was eating a christmas tree. The result? Absolutely delicious! We had an unexpected guest for dinner and I wasn't the least bit embarrassed to serve this to him!
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium Acorn Squash
Salt & Pepper to taste
4 cups Broth (I used half chicken broth half vegetable broth)
1 cup Water
4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
3 large Shallots, diced very fine
4 Garlic Cloves, pressed
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 1/2 cups Dry White Wine (I used semi-dry)
3/4 cups finely grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ground Sage
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the insides. Roast the squash in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When they have cooled slightly, peel the skins off the squash (I used a paring knife). Cut the squash into small pieces. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-heat and add the squash in an even layer. Cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the squash is tender and browned, stirring often. Transfer to a small bowl.
In a medium pan, bring the broth and water to a boil. Once it has boiled, turn down the heat and keep the broth mixture at a simmer.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium-high heat and add shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the shallots have softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until the grains are starting to become translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently until the wine has been absorbed, for about 5 minutes.
When wine is completely absorbed, add 3 cups of hot broth and half of the cooked squash to the skillet, stirring every few minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the bottom of the pan is almost dry, about 12 minutes. Add half a cup of broth at a time and cook, stirring constantly until absorbed between each addition. Repeat until the rice is cooked to al dente. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, parmesan, sage, and nutmeg. Gently fold in the remaining squash. If needed, add an additional 1/4 cup of broth to loosen the texture of the risotto. Serve immediately.