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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

This rich, creamy, toothsome risotto is lighter than you might expect.

We use short-grained Arborio rice for its high starch content, which adds to the creaminess of the dish, and we get a mildly acidic flavor by cooking the rice in chicken stock that’s fortified with white wine. Folding in butternut squash purée gives the finished product a dollop of rich, sweet, wintery flavor without the fat and heaviness of extra butter and cream.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Get toasted. Toasting the rice is an important step, but you don’t want to brown the grains. When you can smell a rich, toasty aroma wafting up from your hot pan, you’ll know the rice is ready.
  2. Got salt? Remember to season the rice early in the cooking process. The rice gets its flavor as it absorbs the flavors of the broth, so it’s impossible to achieve the proper level of seasoning if you only add salt at the end.
  3. Limber up. Get your wrists ready to stir the rice constantly until it’s cooked – if you leave the pan unattended, the starch from the rice tends to burn on the bottom of the pan.

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Rubber spatula. To keep the grains of rice intact, be sure to use a rubber spatula to stir risotto. A metal spoon or other tool is more likely to crush and break down the rice.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Heavy-bottomed medium pot
  • Ladle
  • Rubber spatula
  • Microplane or fine grater
  • Ladle


Ingredients

Serves: 4

Total Time: 45 Minutes

Active Time: 45 Minutes

Method
  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed medium pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add rice to the pot and stir to coat the grains with oil. Toast the rice grains gently until they become aromatic and slightly translucent. Take care not to color the rice.
  2. Add onion and garlic, season lightly with salt and pepper. Sweat the onions and the garlic with the rice for 4-6 minutes.
  3. Start adding warm liquid, about 6 ounces (3/4 cup) at a time, letting the liquid cook into the rice between each addition. Stir frequently. Continue adding stock until the rice is al dente. Taste for seasoning. Fold in the purée (make sure that the purée is warm) over low heat.
  4. When rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in butter and Parmesan. Reserve cooked rice covered until ready to serve.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Mushroom risotto with parmesan

For an earthy risotto, sauté a variety of seasonal mushrooms in a hot pan and finish with thyme leaves, a little bit of stock, shallots and butter. Add mushroom mixture to risotto and top with Parmesan.

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