Butternut Squash Risotto

Well, Halloween night was a success. The number of trick-or-treat’ers was higher than years previous (about 13), and each and every one of them was epic in some way. Our porch ambiance helped. I had been at the grocery store earlier that day and noticed all the Halloween stuff was %75 off. I grabbed some “thunder/lightening” sensor lights for $5 and a black light for $1 on impulse.

I will never regret doing that. It was pitch black outside our front door except for the black light and candles surrounding the cannibalistic crows. The moment a kid would step on the front door mat, “Crash! Boom! Roar!”, thunder sounds would start and lights would start flashing. The flashing lights would illuminate the jar of heads and pot of baby parts in a very, very creepy way. Ha! I got all sorts of squeals and cries of terror. Waiting just inside the door, I would laugh and laugh. And once they saw what was in the jar (the hands), oh man…it was classic.

Here are some quotes I will never forget:

Kid with disgusted look, points to the pot of body parts, “Um, okay…okay…what, please tell me what, is in that jar?”

“I have a baby brother at home…soooo…those are fake right?”

“I heard you’re giving out hand fulls of candy!!”

“Ah! It’s a hand!!!”

“Cool!!! There is SO much candy in this thing!”

“Loooooooook Mom!! It’s a hannnnndd! It has candy in iiiiittttt!!!!!”

“Oh I LOVE this neighborhood!”

Sigh. Halloween is the best.

Plus I ate one of the best meals of my dinner-making career on Wednesday. I finally got around to using some of my homegrown butternut squash, and used up about 1/8th of it. Ha! Oh well, I have promised some to others, so I’m not too worried. This stuff lasts forever a long time.

Anyway, this risotto, besides being delicious, is really easy to make. It does require some time. You’ve got to stand there and stir for a while. But it’s SO worth it.

Butternut Squash Risotto

6-8 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option, and gluten-free stock for gluten-free version would be totally fine)

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 4 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced

2 cups arborio rice (can use short grained white rice)

1 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay…so yummy)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp chopped chives or garlic chives

Salt

1 Heat broth in medium sized saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan; add onion and butternut squash. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

2 Add rice to onion and squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook over medium heat until broth has been absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3 During the last minutes of cooking, add remaining tablespoon of butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and chives. At this point the rice should have a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with remaining grated Parmesan.

4 Eat and repeat.

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