How To Make The Best Squash Risotto. Just when you thought risotto is hard to make, think again. With a few ingredients and in less than 1/2 hour, you will have the most delicious creamy flavorful risotto!
Song of the day: “Putting on the Ritz” by Taco.
Flavor and Texture, I’m in!
How To Make The Best Squash Risotto Takes you on a step by step easy to follow illustrated tutorial on a misunderstood traditional Italian dish. After you make this risotto it will surely become a go-to dinner over and again, because the flavor and texture are amazing and options for deliciousness endless. A perfect recipe for any season, I think!
Here it is How To Make The Best Squash Risotto
How to make a wonderful risotto? Well, as promised, for the ones who made it out to The Edmonton Fall Home Show and saw us on the main cooking stage, here it is. First things first the ingredients:
- 1 medium-sized Delicata squash
- Carnaroli rice
- 1 medium onion
- Olive oil
- Chili flakes
- White wine
- Vegetable broth
- Parmigiano Reggiano
It’s all about the prep……………..
I may seem repetitive, however, I stick to my guns on this one. Prep is key to a successful dish! Risotto is no exception. Because it is a quick process in making this dish having all the ingredients on hand and ready will make it so easy and enjoyable. With that being said, the first step in this recipe process is this:
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds and pulp. The skin on squash is quite hard and sometimes difficult to peel, however, if you take the halves and cut them into small wedges then peel them, it makes it a lot easier.
- Then all that has to be done is to cut it up into small bite-size pieces.
- Followed by the chopping of the onion, and of course gathering up the olive oil, rice, white wine, butter, Parmigiano, paprika, chili flakes.
You probably know the type of rice called Arborio, for years I think everyone knew this as the rice to use for risotto, including myself, however, there is another rice that works really well. It is called Carnaroli. I like it because it has this wonderful starch to it and becomes so creamy, but the inside stays nice and al dente. I find that Arborio is good, however, it can be overcooked quite quickly.
Let’s get cooking…………….
I have to say risotto is a great way to get the family involved and also a wonderful time to bond with your wife, husband, or partner. It is a lot more fun when you do it with another and as a result, a success in How To Make The Best Squash Risotto!
First things first, we have to start flavoring the pan and that is done with the olive oil and a pat of butter along with some chili flakes (optional). In goes the onions and a few minutes later the squash and a seasoning of salt and pepper. With a little sauté and time this mixture is ready to receive the Carnaroli rice.
This is a very important step as we want to toast and then coat the rice with all that oil and butter and flavor which in return will produce a wonderful amazing flavored creaminess!
Wine is not for drinking alone……………..
Many ask what wine do I use for cooking, our response, one that you enjoy drinking. Time to pour some wine which will add another level of taste to the dish. You will smell the aroma of the wine as it mingles with the ingredients in the pan and that steam rises to your nose!
If you are wondering about the alcohol content, there isn’t any as the alcohol is cooked out by the heat, as a result, a kid-friendly dinner!
Pour and stir, pour and stir………………………….
It is time to get a bit of a work out here. Now that the rice is nice and coated and a bit toasted, time to pour some broth in. We use vegetable broth as this is a vegetable infused risotto. You could use chicken broth it is really up to you. We like it vegetarian! So in goes a good ladle of broth. One thing to remember is to have your broth on the stove top on a low heat to keep warm. If you put in a cold broth it would stop the cooking process.
Remember, stir and stir, but not continuously. Allow the rice to sit still for 5-10 seconds. This will help in achieving that creaminess that risotto is so known for.
When do you know when to add another ladle of broth? Well, when the broth has dissipated and very little is left in the pan, this is when another ladle of broth goes in. I usually put enough to just rest at the surface of the rice, however not submerging the rice in broth.
More pouring…… more stirring……………………
This process of broth and stirring usually goes on for about 18-20 minutes or until you taste the rice and it is creamy and starchy on the surface and has a nice nutty bite on the inside. Another way you know your risotto is ready is by watching as you run your spoon through. You know when you have achieved a great risotto when you move it in the pan and it flows to and fro like a wave caressing the shore. In Italian, we say “Risotto all’onda“.
The perfect consistency of risotto is neither dry nor soupy, however, creaminess is key!
When the rice is cooked but still al dente, in goes a nice knob of butter and a good handful of grated Parmigiano. A quick stir and off the heat and on goes the lid and let it sit for a couple of minutes. It needs to rest for a bit because it allows the starches to evolve and plump up the rice!
This smells so good…………………………….
I wish you could smell the aroma of this Squash Risotto. The sweetness of the squash, the acidity of the Parmigiano, the richness of the butter and broth, so so yummy it is making me so hungry!
Plating and garnish………………….
A few scoops of risotto onto the plate and I like a sprinkling of paprika to balance the sweetness. Finally, a dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano and this dish is ready to eat!
Does this not look so comforting and inviting! You can see the creaminess and starchiness of the rice. What about that lovely bit of sunshine in the morsels of Delicata squash. That dusting of Parmigiano is perfect to resemble the textures of Fall and love how that paprika sets so lovely onto the risotto!
Oh my, it is so lovely, creamy and rich on my tongue. I love that nice nuttiness and bite of the Carnaroli rice and how it plays so nicely with the plumpness of the squash. The play of sweet, savory, and spice is a delight to my tongue. The Parmigiano adds such a wonderful spike to the mix and that paprika a bit of spicy smokiness. This is so well balanced and poised. I absolutely love this Risotto dish.
There you have it The Best Squash Risotto!
Have lots of fun making it and most of all gather around the table and enjoy it together. There is nothing better than sharing food, wine, and great conversation!
P.s. Thank you, Graham Sparrow’s Nest for all your wonderful organic vegetables. If you’re in Edmonton, you can find him at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market.
More risotto recipes for you:
Song of the day: “Putting on the Ritz” by Taco.Print
How To Make The Best Squash Risotto. Takes you on a step by step easy to follow illustrated tutorial on a misunderstood traditional Italian dish. After you make this risotto, it will surely become a go-to dinner over and again, because the flavor and texture are amazing and options for deliciousness endless. A perfect recipe for any season, I think!
- 1 cup Carnaroli rice
- 2 1/2 cups delicata squash, peeled, cubed
- 2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup white wine
- salt and pepper
- pinch chili flakes
- 4 1/2 cups warm vegetable broth
- paprika to sprinkle on top
- Pour vegetable broth into a pot and simmer on very low heat.
- Heat up oil and 1 Tbsp of butter and chili flakes in a medium deep saute pan.
- Add in onion and saute for 1-2 minutes then toss in squash, sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat, season with salt and pepper.
- Throw in the rice and coat well so all rice is infused with the oil/butter, about 1 minute, then pour in wine and stir and cook till wine dissipates about 2 minutes.
- Ladle in broth till it comes to just about the surface of the rice/squash mixture and stir. Keep heat to a medium setting.
- Once the broth dissipates add one more ladle and do this for about 18-20 minutes or until broth is all gone.
- Turn off heat and add in the last of the butter and a handful of Parmigiano. Stir until all melted and incorporated. Cover and let sit for a couple of minutes.
- Spoon into dishes and sprinkle with paprika and freshly grated Parmigiano.
- Ready to serve.
- You can use any squash you like except for spaghetti squash.
- Some of the other types of vegetables to use for risotto are mushrooms, radicchio, zucchini, asparagus, peas, pumpkin.