Cooks On Main
Creamy, and satisfying, this saffron and butternut squash risotto is topped o with crispy prosciutto and
toasted pine nuts. This dish captures the essence of so many autumn flavors so very well! The secret of this
delicious risotto is hidden in how the butternut squash is incorporated. Try it!
1 medium butternut squash, diced into 3/8" cubes
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
4-5 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon of saffron, or about 10-12 threads
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1-2 oz prosciutto, cooked in a pan until crispy
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the diced butternut squash in a single layer on a large roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the squash with Kosher salt and pepper and roast for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Stir and toss the squash halfway through the roasting process. Remove half of the squash and puree with a small food processor or immersion hand blender. Reserve the other half as cubes to be added to the finished risotto.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté the onions and garlic in a blend of 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent. Add the arborio rice and stir until coated. Then, add the white wine and continue to stir until it is fully absorbed.
Meanwhile, in a separate soup pot, bring the broth to a simmer and separate one cup of broth into a separate bowl or measuring cup. Add the saffron to the reserved broth to infuse flavor to the broth. Set aside.
Once the wine is absorbed into the rice, slowly add 1-2 ladles of broth to the pot of rice, starting with the saffron-infused broth; bring to a low simmer. Keep simmering and slowly add ladles of broth (one ladle at a time). Stir continuously, allow the broth to become absorbed between each addition.
While the risotto cooks, prepare the crispy prosciutto. In a large skillet or braiser, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and pan fry the prosciutto until crispy. Remove the prosciutto once crispy and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Continue cooking the risotto. Season with Kosher salt and pepper while stirring and adding the broth. Taste test the risotto often to ensure adequate amounts of salt and pepper are used, according to your taste. When the risotto is al dente, add 1 more ladle of the broth, stir, and turn the heat down to low.
Add the roasted, pureed squash and stir. Then, add the cubes of roasted squash. For a silky finish, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Serve hot. Garnish with the crispy prosciutto, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan.