Serves 4 to 6
Oats make a hearty, nutty risotto with a toothsome texture. Be sure to use steel-cut oats here- old-fashioned oats are great for oatmeal, but won’t give you the chew you want for this dish. If you can’t find sunchokes, you can omit them or substitute another vegetable (sliced mushrooms work particularly well here).
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 2 tablespoons crumbled dried porcini
- 8 cups hot water
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups steel-cut oats
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 12 ounces sunchokes, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups diced peeled butternut squash (from about 1/2 small squash)
- 1 cup freshly grated Italian fontina
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
Put the porcini in a spouted measuring cup, and pour 1 cup of the hot water over them. Let them soften for about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and finely chop the porcini.
Combine the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse to make an almost smooth pestata. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the pestata. Cook and stir until it dries out and begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and chopped porcini, and stir these into the pestata. Add the oats and stir while they toast for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the remaining 7 cups of hot water and the reserved porcini liquid. Stir in the bay leaves. Bring to a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, stir in the sunchokes and squash. Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the oats are cooked, but still have a bit of a chew to them, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the fontina and Grana Padano, remove the bay leaves, and serve.