I just love this simple, nourishing meal as a mid-week treat. It’s packed with homemade chicken stock, creamy roasted butternut, and wholesome risotto. While some people seem intimidated at the thought of making a risotto-based meal, there isn’t anything to fear. The only extra work comes from keeping an eye on the risotto while you’re adding the stock, making sure that it doesn’t burn or get too dry.
I like to serve my butternut risotto with some sage, fried quickly in extra virgin olive oil and lightly salted with Maldon salt.
If you need a little extra protein, try some roasted chicken breasts. They go so well with the richness of the rice.
For the cheese, a nice hard Parmesan will do. I buy all my cheese at Trader Joe’s as I just love their selection.
1 butternut squash (2 pounds/900 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces/280 grams)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Peel the butternut, remove the seeds and cut it into 3/4-inch/2 cm cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the butternut on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.
- Heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (thick-walled cooking pot with tight-fitting lid) melt the butter and sauté the onion on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent but not browned.
- Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter.
- Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Stir and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes.
- Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total.
- Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.