Risotto is an authentic Italian rice dish that comes out smooth, creamy and full of flavor (when made right). We have made risotto many ways, and this is one of our favorite for the fall.
This dish is made with a special type of Italian rice called Arborio rice. You can find it at most grocery stores.
Also, don’t be tempted to substitute more processed ingredients for the fresh ones. The lemon juice and parmesan cheese found in a can or bottle does not hold a candle to the taste of the real thing.
For the best parmesan cheese flavor, purchase a wedge that has been imported from Italy.
If you are new to cooking with wine, you will get the best flavor if you use one that you would also not mind drinking. Stay away from the “cooking wines” and, again, use the real thing. For risotto, we use a Chardonney from California. These will always have at least 13% volume.
- 1 medium/large butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces See "How To Prepare Butternut Squash" here.
- extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth or stock (we use a low-sodium version)
- 1 bay leaf (dried)
- ½ cup dry white wine (>13% volume) chardonney is a good choice.
- 1½ cups Arborio Rice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- fresh lemon juice & zest (from 1 lemon)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss squash with a few tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Spread in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
While squash is cooking...
- Pour chicken broth into a large pot and heat to boiling on stove. Reduce to a simmer.
- In a large deep skillet, melt butter on medium-high.
- Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in rice and coat with butter.
- Add white wine and cook until most of wine is absorbed, stirring so rice does not burn.
- Gradually add chicken broth, ½ cup at a time, while stirring intermittantly. Broth should mostly absorb before adding the next cup.
- Discard bay leaf and remove risotto from heat.
- Stir in parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest, and roasted butternut squash.