Last weekend my husband cooked an amazing dinner that indulged my need for something rich and hearty. The evening started with a lovely Bordeaux. It was perfect- exactly what I was craving. While I sipped, he rummaged through the refrigerator and decided to make a butternut squash risotto. It was amazing! This butternut squash purée from Williams-Sonoma is a key ingredient.
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 lb crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 white onion chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts vegetable stock
1/4-1/2 c white wine
1 jar (2 lbs.) butternut squash purée
2 tablespoons each fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped fine
salt, pepper to taste
In a large skillet, caramelize onions in 2 tbsps olive oil until browning at the edges, but still wet and firm. Add mushrooms, herbs and one more tbsp olive oil and sauté on high heat until mushrooms start to give up their water, but before they shrink, 2-3 minutes. Reserve in separate bowl. Add rice to pan, wet with remaining olive oil and toast the rice, stirring constantly, until some grains start to brown. Deglaze pan with 1/4 c white wine (or more). On a separate burner, heat vegetable stock so you can add it to the rice without cooling the rice pan. Slowly add stock to rice, one cup at a time, allowing the rice to fully absorb the liquid before adding more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked, but not soft. Add the butternut squash puree, and the mushroom/onion mix. bring to temperature, add salt and pepper to taste.