If you know me…I LOVE SQUASH so any recipe with it in it I usually am a fan. This however is phenomenal. Risotto can be kind of time consuming but this is totally worth it. One way to speed it up a little is to pre-cook the squash and I do this by cutting them in half, spreading some butter and salt and peppering them, and putting them face down on a cookie sheet with a little water on the cookie sheet for an hr at 350.
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic (I always only use 1-2 depending on how big)
1/2 butternut squash (2lb)
1 Tbs butter
3 shakes chili flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1 c short grain brown rice
5 c chicken broth
4 dried sage leaves
1/2 c white wine (or white vinegar)
1 Tbs heavy cream
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 c parmigiano reggiano
1. Cut squash in half, remove seeds and strings to a sauce pan. Add water and bouillon (if using, other wise, add broth) to sauce pan and bring to a very low simmer. (make sure your broth isn’t overly salty, as it will be a very dominant seasoning.)
2. Reserve half the squash for another use. Trim and skin the remaining half and cut into 1 centimeter cubes.
3. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil (lemon infused if you have it), add garlic and fry for 30 sec, then add squash cubes. Cook covered, over medium heat until just soft. You may wish to add a ladle-full of broth to speed the cooking process.
4. While squash is cooing, heat remaining 1 Tbs olive oil and 1 Tbs butter. Add cumin and chile flakes and let sizzle 15-30 sec. Add onion and cook until it is translucent. Then add the rice and cook until rice begins to whiten.
5. Add broth to cover the rice (1-3 ladles full). Cook at a brisk simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally. When the squash is ready, add 1/3 of the cubes to the rice.
6. Let rice cook until is absorbs almost all the broth, then add 1/2 ladles full until rice is just covered. Continue the way, simmering, adding broth, stirring occasionally until the rice is almost to your desired texture. using brown rice, this may take an hour. (you do not have to stir constantly, just check every couple mintues until the rice is close to done, then stir more frequently).
7. While rice is cooking, chop thyme, and lemon zest.
8. When rice is nearly done, add wine and let cook down, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth, if desired, along with reserved squash, cream, lemon zest, thyme and parmesan. Stir until the risotto reaches your desired consistency. it should be creamy and a lovely orange color with the rice still somewhat rim to the tooth.