Entree - Gluten free - Vegetarian (read notes below)
This recipe has been created during a chat with our Italian friend Renata, who lives in Wisconsin. Since we could not decide if making a butternut squash or a mushroom risotto, she offered to test a risotto with both (and pancetta) and texted me during the preparation!! I couldn't find a decent pancetta, so I used sausage.
3/4 cup Carnaroli rice
1 sausages, casing removed and crumbled
8 oz white mushrooms, diced
21/2 cup butternut squash, diced
1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
8 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine (pinot grigio)
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Bring broth to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
In a large saucepan, warm the extra virgin olive oil and sautee onions and sausages until onions are translucent and sausages are lightly browned; now add mushrooms and butternut squash and sautee for 2 more minutes.
Stir in rice and, when translucent, deglaze pan with wine; when it's evaporated, start adding broth.
Cook for about 17-20 minutes (depending on your taste), adding simmering broth one ladle at a time and stirring frequently.
When risotto is almost ready, "smash" some butternut squash pieces with a fork and add cream cheese, stir until it's completely incorporated.
Remove from heat, stir in parmigiano and butter and serve immediately, sprinkled with fresh parsley.
This recipe serves 2 (or so I tought: if you use 1 cup rice it will easily serve 3 people!).
- I prefer to use sausage without fennel seeds (bratwurst) because they are overwhelming flavor.
- As said at the beginning, you can use pancetta instead of sausage, probably even prosciutto (next experiment)
- Carnaroli is the best rice for risotto, less starchy than arborio but easier to cook: it doesn't overcook too easily.
- I used fat free cream cheese, to give a creamier texture.
- You can deglaze your pan with 1/4 cup brandy, instead of wine, if you like it.
- For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth and avoid sausage.
- COMING SOON: the video to prepare this recipe!!