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Butternut Squash Risotto

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Serves 6 to 8

  • To learn more, read:
    From Rinds to Riches
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 145

Yes, cheese is often added to risotto, but that flavor gets intensified when using cheese rind broth, too. One bite, and you may not go back to using any other kind of broth for risotto.

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice (about 2-1/3 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 7 cups Cheese Rind Broth
  • 2 cups arborio rice, vialone nano, or carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme

Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 Tbs. of the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the squash and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add just enough broth to cover the squash, 1 to 1-1/2 cups. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the squash is just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining broth into a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil over medium-low heat. Add the remaining shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the bottom of the pot is almost dry, 2 to 3 minutes.

Using a ladle, add just enough hot broth to cover the rice (about 1-1/4 cups), and cook, stirring, until the broth has reduced to below the rice. Add more broth to cover, and continue cooking and stirring the rice in this manner until the rice begins to look translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the squash and any broth from the skillet. continue cooking, adding more broth as needed, until the rice is al dente, the squash is very tender, and the dish looks creamy, another 10 to 12 minutes. Season with 1 Tbs. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter, the grated cheese, and thyme, and stir until the cheese melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 310, Fat Calories (kcal): 90, Fat (g): 10, Saturated Fat (g): 4, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5, Cholesterol (mg): 15, Sodium (mg): 560, Carbohydrates (g): 41, Fiber (g): 1, Sugar (g): 2, Protein (g): 9

Photo: Scott Phillips

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