Pecans add crackle to this sweet and tangy, creamy and crunchy risotto.
Servings: Makes 4 servings
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion , finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cloves small garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 large sage leaves , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • Directions
    In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Then reduce heat to low.

    In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-high flame, heat the olive oil. Add the onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the rice; stir until well coated, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and squash and continue to stir another 30 seconds. Lower the heat to medium and add 1/2 cup hot stock. With a wooden spoon, stir until the liquid is absorbed but the rice isn't sticking to the pan. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock and stirring until the stock is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

    Remove from heat; add the sage, butter, and salt. Season with pepper. Stir to combine. Place risotto in a serving bowl and top with Gorgonzola and pecans.

    Recommended variations
    • Cranberry Risotto: Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries with the garlic and squash.
    • Barley Risotto: Substitute one cup barley for the arborio rice and use one additional cup of stock. Barley has a nuttier taste and a less creamy texture than rice.
    • Indian-Spiced Risotto with Shrimp: Omit the squash and add one teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. When the rice is about two-thirds done, add 1 1/2 pounds medium-size peeled and deveined shrimp. Continue cooking until the rice and shrimp are cooked through. Finally, substitute 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for the sage, omit the Gorgonzola, and increase the amount of butter to 4 tablespoons.


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