Risotto With Butternut Squash And Chorizo

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I found this recipe in the Financial Times and decided to try it out on Sandy and our neighbor Lynn before we went to see a play at the local theatre. A day of “first times”! What wasn’t a first time, was enjoying an afternoon lunch on the front porch with a glass of Prosecco and surrounded by colorful mums. We finished the meal with sweets, that Lynn brought, from our local and favorite chocolatier Raymer’s. We DO know how to live! Enjoy!

1 kg butternut squash (1000 grams or about 1 1/2 butternut squash)
1 onion
2 sticks of celery
75 grams unsalted butter (5 1/2 Tbsp.)
100 grams chorizo sausage
Nutmeg (ground or grated)
2 sprigs of thyme
500 grams of risotto rice
100 ml Prosecco or medium dry white wine
200 ml chicken stock (I had to use about 800 ml to make my risotto cooked and creamy)
10 sage leaves
50 grams finely grated Parmesan cheese

Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and cut into segments. With a robust peeler, remove the skin. Cut the squash into similar segments, then into batons and then into dice about half a centimeter cubed.
Peel and chop the onion and celery into fine dice. Heat a heavy casserole, melt half the butter and add the diced vegetable. Sweat it gently for a good five minutes without allowing it to color. Pull off the skin from the chorizo and cut into small dice similar to the squash. Add it to the onion and celery and continue to sweat gently without frying the meat and allowing the fat to slowly render into the pan. After a further five minutes add the squash and the thyme and season with salt, pepper and a hint of nutmeg. Keeping the heat low, turn the squash until it starts to soften before adding the rice. Turn the rice and, once coated in the butter and fat from the chorizo, pour in the Prosecco. Continue to stir and cook.
As the risotto cooks, add the hot stock little by little. Shred the sage leaves very finely and add after 10 minutes. Continue to cook for at least 15 minutes. The rice will gradually increase in volume and will be cooked when still nutty to bite but without a hard, starchy center. As soon as it is cooked, stir in the remaining butter and perhaps a third of the Parmesan.
Once this is amalgamated, with every grain of rice still intact but held in suspension in a glorious sloppy mess, take to the table and serve with the remaining Parmesan.

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