Butternut Squash Risotto

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
1/2 butternut or acorn squash
1/2 cup water
4 cups good quality chicken broth
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1 cup Arborio rice
pinch nutmeg, preferably fresh ground
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch white pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place acorn squash half on a roasting flesh side down. Place a 1/2 cup of water in the pan and place the pan in the oven. Roast the squash for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Scoop out half a cup of squash and puree with half a cup of chicken stock in a blender or food processor. You will use this in your last addition to the risotto. Slice the rest of the squash into a decorative garnish or serve as a vegetable.
3. Heat the rest of the broth in a saucepan and keep warm.
4. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and sage and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and nutmeg. Stir for about 2 minutes, making sure all rice is coated in butter.
5. Add 3/4 cup of broth, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium low. Once broth is incorporated, add 1/2 cup more broth, stirring constantly. Continue to add broth in 1/2 cup increments as rice absorbs liquid, until rice is cooked. Rice will take about 22 minutes to cook and should be creamy but al dente when done.
6. Remove risotto from heat and stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon butter and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and white ground pepper. Serve immediately.

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