October 18, 2010

Butternut Squash Risotto - Vegetarian

As I've mentioned before, I have a little thing with risotto. It's like creamy heaven to me and perfect for fall weather. I adapted this dish to make it for a vegetarian friend and it was incredible even without the pancetta. I used basil in my dish because it's what I had growing out back, but tarragon would be nice too. Either way, your whole family will love this!

Butternut Squash Risotto
Adapted from myrecipes.com (serves 4 main dish portions)

1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2" cubes
2 c vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 1/3 c water
2 tbsp marsala wine (can be purchased at the grocery store in the cooking wines)
1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon or basil
1 c finely chopped onion
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 c uncooked Arborio rice
2/3 c monterey jack cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts for garnish
fresh tarragon or basil for garnish

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Spray jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray and dump squash onto pan. Spread out and bake in oven for 20 mins, turning once halfway through cooking time. Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees.

In large ovenproof dutch oven, heat oil. Add onion and saute until soft and brown (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and saute another minute. Add rice to pot and stirring often, cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, water, wine and tarragon. Bring this to a boil over med heat (do not rush it). Then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Put dutch oven pot in the oven you still have going at 325 for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the squash, cheese, salt and pepper.  Let this stand for a few minutes in the pot. Then when you are ready to serve scoop into bowls or plates and sprinkle with the pine nuts and tarragon for garnish.


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