One of my absolute favorite comfort foods in the entire world is a creamy bowl of risotto. The only thing I dislike about the cooking process of risotto is it can take a while to cook. If made properly, risotto is rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite. There are many variations of risotto, the classic being just butter and Parmesan cheese. My favorite is with the addition of butternut squash and topped with crispy bacon bits.
I’m not going to bore you with the details of how awesome risotto is, instead I’m going to leave you with a simple recipe that you will be wild about eating and sharing with others. I cooked way more risotto than I needed to for this recipe so if your feeding more than yourself the yield is perfect, if not you may want to cut back the recipe by half or you will be eating risotto for days! (There is nothing wrong with that.)
Active Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Mise En Place (Ingredients):
-1 Ea Butternut Squash, peeled, cut into 1/4’s and roasted
-1 Small onion, minced
-1 Clove garlic, minced
-2 Cups Arborio Rice
-1 1/2 Cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese
-3 Cups Warm Chicken Stock
-1 Tablespoon Butter
-3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
-1 Cup Squash puree, see below
-4 Strips Bacon, cooked crispy, chopped up
-Medium Sauce pot
-Vita mix or Blender
Method of Prep:
-Peel Squash. Separate the bulb (bottom of the squash with the seeds) from the top. Slice again until you have 4 pieces.
-Heat oven to 350. Place your 4 pieces of squash on a sheet tray. Lightly cover with oil, s&p. (You may also add fall spices to the squash for additional flavor if you’d like such as cinnamon, allspice, etc)
-Roast in the oven until soft, approximately 30 minutes.
-Once squash is fork tender, remove from the oven and in a blender, puree the two bulb pieces (bottom of squash) with Maple syrup until smooth. Set aside.
-Dice up the remaining squash into small bite size pieces to be added into the risotto at the end. Set aside.
-In a medium sauce pot, melt butter. Saute your onions and garlic until translucent.
-Add in risotto and caramelize the rice until lightly brown, 3 minutes.
-Add in 2 Cups of warm chicken stock and allow to reduce, stirring often.
-Once the stock has reduced, add in the remaining cup of warm stock, continue to stir until reduced. At this point your rice should be halfway cooked and begin having a creamy texture to it. Season with salt and pepper, Taste.
-Once stock has reduced half way, add in your Parmesan cheese, 1/2 a cup at a time, stir. (Taste to make sure your rice is Al dente, if not add more stock and continue to reduce until ready to eat)
-After your cheese is added, stir in your butternut squash puree. From here your risotto will have the same color as the roasted squash. (You may add in more butter if your want a creamier texture)
-Serve Immediately and sprinkle crispy bacon pieces on top.
**Note: The key to a quick risotto is to keep stirring the rice, it speeds up the cooking process a little bit 🙂