This post is sponsored by Village Harvest. All thoughts and opinions are my own 🙂
I love winter. I know I’m in the minority, but when it snows I say “bust out the snow gear and let’s go play!” One of the many reasons why I love winter besides snow are all the wonderful winter vegetables in season. Squash is a great source of vitamins and can be absolutely delicious when cooked right. Butternut Squash Risotto is a classic Italian rice and cheese dish made with Arborio rice that originated anciently in northern Italy and is still grown there today.
Arborio rice is a medium grain white rice that cooks up tender and sticky. It originated in northern Italy and is still grown there today. Village Harvest Arborio rice is “superfino” grade ~ the highest quality available on the market. I ended up created two different risotto recipes using Village Harvest Arborio rice and they were both fantastic.
I found that Village Harvest Arborio Rice made the foundation for a perfectly cooked, creamy risotto. Turns out it’s harvested in Northern Italy where the climate is cool and the soil is marshy, the perfect environment for growing great tasting rice. Arborio rice grains slowly and evenly release starch while absorbing liquids (like broth) to create the warm, creamy comfort food known as Italian risotto. Add in the creamy texture of cooked squash and parmesan cheese, and you have comfort food that deserves a place next to spaghetti and meatballs in the halls of comfort food fame.
Traditional risotto requires constant stirring and adding of hot broth over a hot stove for the entire recipe, which usually can take as long as 40 minutes! This recipe cuts much of that time out and gives your arm a break. I created this dish in a large cast iron skillet but a stovetop dutch oven would be great too. Whatever dish you use, be sure it’s a big one, this recipe makes up LOTS of risotto, enough for 10-12 sides or about 8 main course servings.
The first time you work with a whole butternut squash can be a challenge. Peel the entire outside, and hold on tight, it can be slippery. Lay it on it’s side and trim the stem and bottom off. Chop it in half where the bulbous end and the skinnier neck meet. Scoop out the seeds and threads and discard them. Dice the flesh into small cubes. I like to check the produce section at my local grocery store if they have some squash already peeled and chopped. It saves me tons of time.
Be sure to give Village Harvest Arborio rice a try the next time you have a craving for risotto. Stay cozy and warm this winter and make some Butternut Squash Risotto to enjoy with family and friends!Print
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