Recipe: Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

This has absolutely nothing to do with this recipe, but can’t stop myself from pacing this morning. I had to make an appt for my dog to go to the vet this afternoon and I’m more anxious about his appt than I get about my own (which is saying a lot since I get incredibly anxious before almost all doctor visits). Hopefully it’s a quick visit to get some antibiotics to make him feel better. Ever since I took my last dog in for what I thought was a routine visit and was told to put her down, I get obscenely worried before every vet visit with this dog. I just can’t handle that kind of unexpected news again.

 

Putting that all aside, let’s talk risotto! Namely the Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto that I made for dinner last night. Yesterday I did mention hat I thought it was a bit bland, but looking back that’s entirely my fault. I was out of parmesan cheese and forgot the thyme (doh!) so no wonder it tasted a little off. Here’s the full recipe (including the cheese & thyme).

 

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

Adapted from Health Magazine, via MyRecipes

Serves: Generous 6

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 1/2 C frozen Peas

 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and water to a simmer. You will use this for the rice, so heat it on a back burner and start working on the squash. 
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Cook the squash with the ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Stir occasionally until squash is golden (about 8-10 minutes).

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

  • Add the thyme to the squash and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and to the skillet, reduce to simmer and cook until the squash is tender and broth has evaporated (another 8-10 minutes). Pour the cooked squash in a bowl and set aside.

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

  • Meanwhile, in a heavy pot over medium heat, cook onion using the remaining oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion is softened, stirring occasionally.  Add rice and toss to coat with oil; cook 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost completely absorbed (about 2 minutes). If prefer not to use wine in this recipe, swap it for the same amount of broth.
  • Stir 1/2 cup simmering broth into rice and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding more, until rice is creamy-looking but still al dente (about 20 minutes total); mixture should be the consistency of thick soup. (There may be leftover broth.)
  • Add in the peas in the last 3-4 minutes of cooking to allow them to defrost in the rice mixture.

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

  • Once the peas are warmed throughout, add in the butter, cheese, and squash.

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

  • Serve immediately. Crusty French bread is recommended but not required. (who are we kidding…break out the bread!)

This meal does make a very generous amount and I’ve found that it reheats well. It can also be frozen in single servings to be reheated at a later date. For a variety, mix in a protein or serve of a bed of spinach.

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

*Some of these instructions are directly from the MyRecipes site as they are far better than I at providing instructions on the basic risotto steps.

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