As the days become increasingly chilly my senses demand only one thing – warmth. I want bread baking in my oven, down comforters on my bed, and carbohydrates – particularly the creamy, starchy, make-me-sleep-good-at-night kind of carbs.
So what could be a more satisfying epicurean union then to combine the queen mother of all starches, risotto, with autumn’s iconic gourd, the Butternut Squash?
Chef Luca Valerin, and Chef Robert Pantusa co-own Osteria Giotto, located at 21-23 Midland Avenue in Montclair, my personal favorite Baristaville haunt. Luca recently prepared for us his signature Butternut Squash Risotto. While there are other classic Fall combo’s: turkey and gravy, or buffalo wings and beer, Luca’s Butternut Squash Risotto went to work on my olfactory senses before it even touched my tongue. And when it did, satisfaction was had. Smooth, rich and gratifying.
Watch the video to see how it’s done.
1 pound of butternut squash
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of chopped white onion
1 cup of Arborio rice
1/3 cup of dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock, approximately
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick of butter
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
Prepare the B’nut Squash, peel, cube and place in oven safe dish. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and nutmeg, then drizzle with olive oil. Bake until softened.
Bring stock to a simmer.
In separate pot, sauté white onion in olive oil until almost translucent. Then add rice, toss and let toast for a few minutes. Add white wine.
After wine is absorbed, began to add stock to rice one ladle at a time, for about 18 minutes.
About nine minutes into the cooking, crush squash with a fork, and add to b’nut squash to rice.
Continue to add liquid. After18 minutes, when the rice is tender, remove from heat and finish risotto by adding butter, Parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper.
If you don’t feel like making the Risotto yourself, it will soon be on the menu at Osteria Giotto. So Baristaville, do you engage in any autumnal gastronomic nesting? What’s your favorite fall comfort food?