One of my favorite things to eat is risotto; it’s always so satisfying (well, at least when I make it). A lot of people are intimidated by risotto because of all the stirring but fear not, the average home cook can master it. I’ve been making risotto for 8 years and have never messed it up. You definitely need good multitasking skills but I find I am able to leave it simmering for a while, while preparing the rest of the meal. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely need to stir a lot but not constantly as most recipes call for.
Acorn Squash Risotto
About 1 hour
1 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed (you can use any type of squash you want)
4 cups chicken stock (this time I actually used 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water since I had an open container and it still tasted good)
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 400F. Drizzle the squash with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast with the cut side down on the pan for about 30 minutes until it is soft and nicely browned.
I started the squash about 20 minutes before starting the risotto. This allowed enough time for the squash to cool. Heat chicken stock in a pot until hot but not boiling. I usually turn the heat down to low when it starts steaming to keep it warm. Saute the onions in a pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat. Season with salt and pepper. When the onions are translucent add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat with oil. Cook about 1 minute until the rice is opaque. Add wine and stir until absorbed. Add about 1 cup (this measurement does not need to be exact) of chicken stock to the rice and stir until absorbed. On the first addition of stock I stir a lot, then less and less afterward.
After liquid is absorbed, add another cup. Repeat this process. When you only have one more stock addition left add the rosemary and squash. You can scoop the squash out of the skins with a spoon and put them right into the pan. Use your stirring spoon to break up any large pieces. Add the final cup of stock, once mostly absorbed and the butter and cheese and stir until combined. The risotto should have a creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with some more cheese.