Nothing says fall like a Risotto di Zucca! Deeply aromatic Piedmontese hazelnuts and tangy Traditional Balsamic Vinegar perfectly accentuate this sweet, bright orange dish. Carnaroli is the King of risotto rice, its extra creamy texture is absolutely unmatched!
SERVES: 4 -6
TIME: 1.5 hours for the squash, 30 minutes for the risotto
- Butternut squash, approximately 1 kg / 2.2 lbs
- Extra virgin olive oil, 60ml / 4 tbsp, divided
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- Yellow onion, 150g / 5.3 oz, finely chopped
- Carnaroli rice, 380g / 2 cups
- White wine, 120 ml, 1/2 cup
- Vegetable or chicken stock, 2L / 8-9 cups
- Vacche Rosse Cheese, 110g / 1 cup, grated, plus extra to serve
- Butter, 3 Tbsp / 40g, cold and cubed
- Hazelnuts, 20g / 0.7 oz, coarsely chopped
- Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Rub one half with 1 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, then place it face down on a baking sheet. Put it on the lower rack of the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes.
- Peel and dice the other squash half, toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt, then place on a separate baking sheet. Put it on the center rack of the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes.
- Remove both racks from the oven. Once the whole squash half has cooled down, scrape the cooked flesh into a bowl and measure out 1 cup / 280g.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium/low heat. Add the onion and cook down, stirring every so often, until soft and translucent. Meanwhile, heat the stock in a large pot.
- Once the onions are soft, bring up the heat to medium and add the Carnaroli rice. Stir to toast the grains for a few minutes. Add the white wine and stir until completely absorbed.
- Add the 1 cup / 280g of squash flesh and 1 cup / 240ml of hot stock to the rice, stirring continuously until the squash flesh is thinned and smooth.
- Gradually add more hot stock to the rice, one ladleful at a time, allowing it to absorb before adding more, until the rice is just cooked (about 20 minutes).
- When the rice is cooked, stir in the diced roasted squash and grated Vacche Rosse Cheese. Turn off the heat.
- Add the cold butter, a cube or two at a time, stirring vigorously to create a creamy texture. Taste and adjust for salt. Divide the finished risotto between bowls and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts, an additional sprinkle of Vacche Rosse Cheese, and a generous drizzle of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.