07 October 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

I found this recipe for risotto a couple years ago on one of the foodblogs. I honestly think it might have been Heidi Swanson's blog... but maybe not. I really can't remember! Suffice it to say, the recipe is not mine, but I wish it was and I will keep it in my recipe book forever!

This latest batch started here with our little harvest of Butternut squash. Last night, we had frost warnings, so we scrambled about picking herbs, cutting squash from the vines, picking the last bouquet of zinnias, bringing in the tender potted plants, and covering tender perennials with towels. When all was said and done, we had a pretty little basket of squash for me to choose from for making this autumn risotto...

and flowers for the table ... sigh. I promise to remember these colors in January!

Later in the day, I pulled the recipe from the cookbook and began by dicing the peeled squash ( a little one that made about three cups of squash cubes) and doctoring it with olive oil, kosher salt, and plenty of black pepper.

The squash gets covered with foil and roasted until it is just tender. Then the foil is removed, the squash gets jostled around the pan a bit and returned for a hot finish that browns and crisps the corners up a bit. Mean-while, the risotto is begun. Chicken stock is prepped (I use Better Than Bouillon products). An onion and minced garlic get a nice sauté in a bit of butter and olive oil. When they are shiny and semi-transparent, a good quality Arborio rice gets added and browned up a bit.

I always let it sit a bit between stirrings so that it does brown a bit ... you can just see it beginning to crisp up at the edges of the pan. Time to toss it about a bit to let the next layer of rice cozy up to the hot pan surface.
While the rice is browning, the squash comes out of the oven and gets a dose of ground sage. The squash gets tossed to coat the pieces with the sage ... and the sage helps absorb all the sweet juices from the pan.

The rice gets its first cup of chicken broth and begins a slow bubble and as it gets stirred, a soft risotto comes to form. When all the chicken broth has been absorbed and the rice is a perfect al dente, a dollop of Mascarpone cheese and a small handful of grated parmesan get stirred in to make a creamy finish. The squash cubes get folded in and hot roasted hubbard squash risotto is ready for knoshing!

 ... and buon appetito!

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Preheat oven: 400° F

Peel and chop into ½ -inch cubes:

     1 small butternut squash

Toss the squash cubes with olive oil, salt and black pepper and roast covered with foil for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and toss to brown on all sides, return to oven uncovered and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the pan and toss with:

     ½ tsp ground sage

Set aside.

     5 c. chicken broth

Meanwhile, sauté in a heavy saucepan:

     1 small onion, small dice
     2 garlic cloves, minced
     2 tbsp. olive oil
     2 tbsp. butter

When the onion and garlic are glistening, add:
      1 c. Arborio rice

Stir the rice until it begins to brown and then add:

      1 c. of the chicken broth

Lower the heat to medium-low and let the rice simmer uncovered until the broth is almost all absorbed. Then, add another cup of broth. Continue stirring gently now and then until the broth is almost absorbed and repeat until the broth is used up. Taste the rice, now and then, to gauge the ‘al dente’ factor.

When all the broth is used, use a bit of water at a time until the rice is perfectly ‘al dente’.
     Salt and pepper to taste
     ½ c. Parmesan cheese
     ¼ c. Mascarpone cheese

Stir all together to melt the cheese. Turn the roasted squash in and fold to combine.
Toss in:

     fresh parsley and sage, chopped

Serve immediately.


  1. Squash risotto is just the perfect autumnal food. Yours looks delicious.

  2. I love your writing style in this post Susan. Makes me long for some home cooking. I WILL be paying you a visit one of these fine days and I want this to be on the stove as I walk in the door!

  3. I just got two butternut squashes in my CSA Box and would love to try this risotto - looks wonderful!

  4. What a perfect combination! Love it!

  5. I love butternut squash and usually roast mine too. This risotto looks soooo delicious. Wouldn't it be fum to eat this in a big bowl sitting on the couch in front of a fire,


Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back. Use your Google account ID to comment.