Risotto with squash is excellent since it truly reflects the fall season. To give this risotto more complexity, try adding diced apples and a touch of cinnamon
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup minced onions
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 6 ½ cups hot Chicken Stock or canned chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or as needed
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions, greens included (about 6)
- Pinch of ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- ½ cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
- Freshly ground black pepper
Steam the squash until tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Transfer half of it to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Scrape out the squash puree into a small bowl. Set the puree and diced squash aside separately.
In a heavy, wide 3- to 4-quart casserole or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and shallot and cook them until golden, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Toast the rice until the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour in the wine and stir well until evaporated. Add ½ cup of the hot stock and the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed. Add the squash puree, diced squash, and scallions. Continue to add hot stock in small batches— just enough to completely moisten the rice— and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed. Stir constantly and adjust the level of heat so the rice is simmering very gently while adding the stock until the rice mixture is creamy but al dente. This will take 16 to 20 minutes from the first addition of stock.
Remove the casserole from the heat. Beat in the butter until completely melted, then the grated cheese. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary, and pepper.
Serve immediately, ladled into warm shallow bowls.