Contributed by Laura Giannatempo
For the stock:
12-13 cups water
1 lb organic butternut squash
1 small leek coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk coarsely chopped
1 small carrot or 1⁄2regular carrot coarsely chopped
1⁄2 big onion or 1 small onion coarsely chopped
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp sustainably made olive oil
1⁄2 tbsp unsalted organic butter
For the risotto:
2 tbsp of organic butter plus 1 extra tablespoon optional
1 small onion finely chopped
2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
1⁄2 cup white wine
zest of 1⁄2 lemon
2 tbsp rosemary finely chopped
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano
1⁄4 cup Marsala wine
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1 Pour the water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil In the meantime peel the butternut squash and carve out the seeds cut it in half length wise and then again in half Save one of the smaller halves the one with no cavity Cut the other two halves in big chunks Add to the water with the leek celery carrot onion and parsley Bring to a boil then simmer for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours uncovered This will form your vegetable stock for the risotto.
Cut the saved half of the squash in julienne stripes Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan place the julienne stripes of squash and fry on each side for about 3 minutes until lightly brown Put on a plate covered with a paper towel salt and set aside.
Pour the contents of the stock pot through a fine sieve and into a medium sauce pan Set the liquid your stock aside and place the remaining cooked vegetables in a blender Blend until finely pureed for about 2 minutes adding a ladle of broth if necessary Separate 1 1/2 cups of the puree and set aside.
Start the risotto by heating up the butter in a large saute pan When the butter is heated add the onion Cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent Add the rosemary then the rice and the white wine and start stirring set the timer for 16 minutes.
Start ladling in some of the broth which you want to keep heated After about 7-8 minutes add in the squash puree and the heavy cream and salt while you keep stirring continuing to add the stock if necessary The secret is to keep the risotto always moist but never too soupy at any given time and keep stirring to bring the starch out.
Toward the end of the cooking time add the lemon zest the Parmigiano the extra butter optional and the Marsala wine Stir one more time making sure that the risotto is not too dry Remember that once you turn the heat off it will continue to absorb liquid and will inevitably get drier; so it is better to finish off a risotto a little on the moist side when it’s in the pan so that it will reach the right consistency on the plate Make sure it’s not soupy though; you don’t want your rice swimming in liquid.