Butternut Squash Risotto

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I made this a few nights ago, then reheated for a nice hearty meal to enjoy during our massive snow storm. If you are cooking vegetarian, simply change the chicken stock to vegetable stock. This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, but in her risotto she incorporates pancetta and saffron. I wanted to keep it lighter and simpler. Enjoy!

1 large butternut squash (2 Lbs.)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 large shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the skin and seeds from the squash, cut into 1/2 cubes, put into a bowl with the olive oil, add 1/2 Tsp. of both salt and pepper, and toss with your hands. Put the cubes on a sheet pan and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven, put back in the bowl and hand mash with an immersion blender. Cover bowl with foil and set aside.
Heat the stock in a covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
In a large, heavy pan, melt the butter and sauté the shallots on medium-low heat until they are clear, but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 ladles of stock to the rice with 1 Tsp. salt and 1/2 Tsp. pepper. Stir and simmer until the stock is absorbed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total.
Put the risotto mixture on very low heat, toss in the mashed squash, and once the squash is blended in, toss in the Parmesan cheese and toss until the cheese has melted.

Wine served: Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc

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