Squash risotto has savory sweetness

TRY THIS AT HOME

October 29, 2006|By Marge Perry | Marge Perry,NEWSDAY

This sweet and savory risotto is not difficult to make, but does take about 30 minutes of fairly constant attention. Add a salad to make it a meal.

To peel any of the smooth-skinned winter squash such as butternut, use a vegetable peeler. Acorn squash, full of ridges that make peeling trickier, is more easily prepared by cooking it right in the skin. Most winter squash can be kept for several months in a cool dry place.

Marge Perry writes for Newsday, which provided the recipe analysis.

ROASTED SQUASH AND PECAN RISOTTO

Serves 4

2 3/4 cups lower-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Bring the broth to a boil; immediately reduce heat, cover and keep warm.

Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, cumin and cinnamon. Place in a single, uncrowded layer on the baking sheet and roast, turning once, for 20 minutes or until fork tender.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, until golden. Add rice and stir. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and cook, stirring, until it is completely absorbed by the rice. Add another 1/2 cup, and again cook, stirring, until the liquid is no longer visible. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, each time waiting until it is absorbed by the rice before adding more. Each addition will take longer to absorb. Continue until the rice is al dente: tender but with a slight resistance at the core. The process will use between 2 1/4 and 2 3/4 cups of the broth and should take about 26 to 30 minutes total.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in chunks of squash, cheese and nuts. Season generously with black pepper and additional salt.

Per serving: 420 calories, 11 grams protein, 58 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 18 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 9 milligrams cholesterol, 889 milligrams sodium

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