butternut squash risotto

October 21, 2010
butternut squash risotto with fresh sage
I love autumn. I love fall foliage and warm clothes and Thanksgiving. And I love gourds. While my undying adoration for pumpkin will have to wait until a future post, this post is dedicated to butternut squash. Most of the times I've had this squash, it's been in ravioli di zucca. Once fall came around, I wanted to make something with the squash but didn't think I was culinary-advanced enough to make my own ravioli. So I made butternut squash risotto instead.

The verdict? Easy. Seasonal. Delicious. I used Rachel Ray's recipe as a guide but made some of my own changes. First, I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. And most importantly, because I'm not trying to feed a family in 30 minutes, I got fresh squash instead of frozen. If you have the time: cook the squash yourself. It's so easy and so gratifying once it's out of the oven.
my butternut squash and our growing gourd collection
couldn't help but laugh when i cut one open for the first itme
slowly adding white wine and vegetable broth
on the stove top

butternut squash risotto

1 medium butternut squash (around 3-4 pounds)
salt and pepper to taste
1 quart vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons of E.V.O.O. (get it?)
1 small onion, chopped
2 gloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups of arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
7-8 sage leaves
1 cup parmigiano reggiano*

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash squash and cut in half lengthwise. Clean out the seeds and extra stringy stuff that you don't want (perhaps save the seeds to toast them later, if you'd like). Rub butter on the face of each half and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash face up in a baking pan with an inch of water. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a pot, bring the vegetable broth and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let the broth simmer. In another wide, medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and garlic. When the onions have caramelized, add the rice and toast for 2-3 minutes. Add wine and cook out completely. Once the liquid is gone, begin ladling in the broth- one to two ladles at a time, constantly stirring. Add the next ladle when the rice completely absorbs the liquid from the previous ladle. Take the squash and remove the meat- it should be soft and easily mashable. (You only need about 3/4th of the meat, so go ahead and enjoy some of the fresh roasted squash while it's still warm). After you add your last ladle, mix the squash. Add nutmeg, butter, spices and cheese in during the last few minutes of cooking. Enjoy!

*I completely forgot to add parmesan in mine and it was still really good. If you have the cheese, add it. Otherwise, it's not a big loss.
** How funny is it that all of the seeds in the squash are at the very bottom? I love it.


  1. living in Sydney, the one thing i miss most about home is fall and all the autumn goodies like this risotto - yum! loving your blog..

  2. this looks really yummy but.. for the europeans here.. what actually is E.V.O.O.?

    I´d really love to try this!!


  3. Oh ok, I got the E.V.O.O. :D Forget it hehe
    *scratches her blonde head*

  4. this looks so delicious!! i got a book with all squash and pumpkin recipes, and this has to make my list of november treats. thanks for sharing! :)

  5. this looks delish!! thank you :)

  6. That sounds incredible! I'll have to give it a try for sure.

  7. This looks delicious and perfect for Fall! :)

  8. UMMM that looks SUPER YUMMY! I've never had risotto before.. but not i want to!

  9. @Marcela- hahah I'm so sorry! It's not necessarily an American joke, just a Rachel Ray joke because on her tv show, she says "E.V.O.O." instead of "extra virgin olive oil"

  10. that rice looks delicious! and the shots are great! what camera do you use for everyday photos?

  11. Hey Elizabeth- I use my Canon Xti for all of my photos- it's the only nonfilm camera that I have!

  12. Oh my I am not a fan of risotto(but I am a fan of quinoa)this sure looks delicious and certainly worth trying out.

  13. oooohh!! that looks sooo good! i LOVE butternut squash! one of my favorite things about fall! i get a ton in my organic box...always great to have another recipe!
    thanks for sharing! once i get them i will try this one out!


  14. loving your blog..ooppss.. I just loved it!

  15. Celest this looks delicious! I've always felt intimidated by risotto, so I've never made it. But someone made it on the today show the other day and they said it was easy! So I might try this recipe :)

  16. @Chloe- This was my first time cooking risotto and before this I was always afraid of how it'd come out.. but it was so easy!

  17. i'm so scared to try butternut squash, but this looks so delicious!!!

  18. That is it lets have a dinner party!! YUM!

  19. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I'll definitely have to start reading yours because I adore traveling and food! I LOVE risotto and this looks amazing. Must try...