|Butternut Squash Risotto
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound butternut squash (about 3 cups diced)
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Italian rice for risotto such as Arborio or Carnaroli
5 cups homemade meat broth, or 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 5 cups water
2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, freshly grated
Put the onion and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium low heat. Sauté the onion until it turns to a rich golden color.
While the onion is sautéing, remove the rind and the seeds from the squash, then cut it into 3/4 inch cubes. When the onion is ready, add the squash to the pan with about 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the squash is tender, about 10-15 minutes (longer at altitude).
While the squash is cooking, heat the broth in a sauce pot and keep it at a very low simmer.
When the squash is tender and all the water has evaporated, add the rice and stir until it is well coated. Add a couple of ladlefuls of the heated broth and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring and adding broth to the rice as the liquid in the pot evaporates. The right amount of broth to add is just enough to produce the consistency of a rather thick soup and it is important to wait until all the liquid has evaporated before adding more broth. The rice will be done in about 20 minutes, when it is firm to the bite but not still crunchy or chalky in the center. At the end the risotto should have a creamy, almost “wavy” consistency.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley, the grated parmigiano and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Taste for salt and serve at once. serves 4 to 6 people