This Italian rice dish recipe is packed with flavor from the squash, roasted garlic, and fresh Parmesan cheese. Risotto is a delicious side dish for any weeknight meal or holiday gathering.
1 kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds; or use turban or butternut squash)
2 whole garlic heads
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Place halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. With a chef's knife, slice off top 1/4 inch of garlic heads; place on a 4- x 4-inch sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil and secure foil edges around heads; place on baking sheet with squash. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool. Scoop squash out of shell, transfer to bowl, add garlic; mash together with fork. Set aside.
Bring broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Keep warm over low heat.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, until hot. Melt butter in pan. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
Reduce heat to medium. Add rice; sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine and 1/2 cup broth mixture; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes or until all broth has been absorbed and rice is tender). Stir in squash mixture, cheese, sage, pepper, and salt. Serve immediately.
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This risotto had a great flavor to it: definitely not too heavy on the palette. The garlic blended nicely with the squash. It may have even benefited from slightly less cheese, something that I do not say about recipes very often. I substituted balsamic vinegar for the white wine per a suggestion I found online, and it worked pretty nicely. I loved it, but my boyfriend, who is a little skittish when it comes to squash, gave it an iffy rating. He said it was a little too heavy/gooey for his liking. So this would probably be a hit for any risotto/squash lovers in your house!
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