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Natural Awakenings

Winter Squash Risotto

Sep 29, 2023 09:30AM ● By Christina Pirello
WINTER SQUASH RISOTTO

Photo by Paul Parisi

Yield: 4-6 Servings


For the broth:

¼ red onion, diced

½ carrot, diced

¼ cup diced winter squash

Splash of white wine or mirin

3 cups spring or filtered water


For the risotto:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

½ red onion, finely diced

¼ tsp sea salt

Splash of white wine or mirin

½ cup carnaroli or Arborio rice

¼ winter squash, unpeeled and finely diced

4-5 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, hand-shredded


To make the broth, combine all of the listed ingredients in a large saucepan over low heat and simmer for 30 minutes before making the risotto. This can be done the day before. 


For the risotto, place the olive oil in a deep skillet along with the onion over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until translucent. Add the rice and a generous splash of wine, and cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed. Add ¼ cup broth and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth is absorbed. Add another ¼ cup of broth and repeat the process. Stir in half of the diced squash and cook, stirring. 


In a small saucepan over medium heat, place the remaining squash with enough water to cover halfway. Add a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.


Continue adding the remaining broth to the rice—¼ cup at a time—and stirring until the rice is tender but al dente, about 25 minutes.


Take the remaining squash and use an emulsion blender or a food processor to purée until smooth. Stir the puréed squash into the cooked risotto. Season it lightly with salt and cook over low heat until the squash is absorbed into the rice.


Serve immediately, garnished with fresh basil.


Recipe courtesy of Christina Pirello.


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