Butternut Squash Risotto with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
I love risotto, but I don't love all of the fat and heaviness of the traditional recipe, so I found a more Southwestern flair that gives it a lot of big taste and richness with a whole lot less fat, and better fats. Perfect as a side dish to roasted or steamed meats or a Mexican or Spanish stewed meat. Risotto needs constant attention, so prepare something easy as a main dish or something that can be cooked earlier and left to stand, or put in the warmer.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 1medium butternut squash
- 1medium tomatillo, husked and chopped
- 1small onion, roughly chopped
- 3cloves garlic
- 2peppers dried pasilla chile peppers
- ½dried red chile pepper
- ¾cup beef broth
- 10cups chicken broth
- 4tablespoons canola oil
- 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
- 2cups Arborio rice
- ¼cup grated Manchego cheese
- ¼cup Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, dried
- 1teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
Step 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Step 2Slice butternut squash in half; scoop out seeds and pulp in the lower center and discard. Place squash, cut-sides down, on the prepared baking sheet.
Step 3Bake in the preheated oven until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
Step 4Scoop squash flesh into a blender. Add tomatillo, onion, and garlic. De-stem and de-seed the dried chiles; add to the blender. Pour in 3/4 cup beef broth. Puree until fully integrated, 2 to 3 minutes. You can add a little more broth if the squash gets too dry, but don't flood it. It should be thickish. Set aside.
Step 5Pour chicken broth into a 2-quart pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Step 6Heat canola and olive oil in a large, medium sided pan next to the hot broth over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Set a ladle and a stirring spoon out next to the stove.
Step 7Add a ladleful of simmering chicken broth to the rice; stir constantly with the spoon, allowing it to simmer until broth has mostly evaporated. Continue adding ladlefuls of broth and stirring it in until most of the liquid has evaporated, adding the blended squash mixture after about 10 minutes of cooking. Continue cooking and stirring in broth until rice swells up slowly and is tender, yet firm to the bite, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in Manchego cheese and 1/2 of the pumpkin seeds.
Step 8Pour into serving bowls and top with remaining pumpkin seeds and paprika; season with salt and pepper.