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Friday, November 11, 2011

Rainy Day Cooking

I am not tired of cooking with the squash of the fall, so today, as my way of unwinding from the week, I returned to my big-bottomed friend, the butternut squash, for another recipe. Oh me oh my. This recipe really worked. It was very easy, very tasty, very filling. It sort of had that same effect that really good homemade mac 'n cheese has. I wonder if the color orange has some sort of narcotic effect....

The house was filled with warm and yummy smells and all felt right with the world.

Serves 4


2 cups roasted butternut squash, mashed (usually 1/2 a roasted squash; save the other half and make a soup or another batch of this recipe!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 onion, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 cups hot chicken stock
1 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 heaping tablespoons cream cheese, if you've got it (Greek yogurt works too)
salt and ground black pepper to taste (up to 1/2 tsp each)
Diced tomatoes for garnish

Additional vegetables work great: I've added mushrooms, zucchini, arugula or bell peppers to this recipe as well. Carrots would work too, though I hate them and would not add them myself.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and lay face-down on a cookie sheet that has been coated with a thin film of olive oil or sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Roast squash for one hour. (Can be done ahead of time).

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 2 minutes until the onion begins to soften, then stir in the rice. Continue cooking and stirring until the rice is glossy from the butter, and the onion begins to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes more. (Add additional vegetables at this point if you want; saute until translucent)

Pour in the white wine; cook, stirring constantly, until it has evaporated. Stir in the mashed squash and 1/3 of the hot chicken stock; reduce heat to medium. Add rubbed sage and salt. Cook and stir until the chicken stock has been absorbed by the rice, 5 to 7 minutes. Add half of the remaining chicken stock, and continue stirring until it has been absorbed. Finally, pour in the remaining stock, and continue stirring until the risotto is creamy. Finish by stirring in the Parmesan cheese and cream cheese (or Greek yogurt), and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with some diced tomatoes.

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