- 1 medium butternut squash (about 1 pound whole or 12 ounces cut up)
- 24 sage leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 7 to 8 cups fat-free chicken (or veggie) stock
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
- Peel squash, then dice into very small (1/4- or 1/3-inch) cubes. Combine squash, a few sage leaves, 1 cup stock, and a little salt in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender (but not too soft) about 5 to 10 minutes. (You want the cubes to keep their form when they’re stirred into the risotto.) Drain and reserve liquid, just in case.
- While squash is cooking, add the rest of the stock to another pot, bring to a simmer, and keep it there. Meanwhile, finely chop 6 large sage leaves.
- In another, larger, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium until melted. Add chopped sage and cook about 1 minute. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to low, add rice and a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, until rice has turned slightly translucent. Turn the heat back up to medium, and add the white wine. Once the wine has been absorbed, add enough hot stock to cover the rice. Stir well and reduce the heat back down to medium-low.
- Gently simmer the rice, stirring occasionally, until stock is absorbed. Add another 1/2-to-3/4 cup warm stock, and stir occasionally until new stock is absorbed. Repeat the process until all the stock has been absorbed by the rice, and rice is tender. This could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. (It took me closer to 30.)
- While all this is going on, sauté 10 sage leaves in a 1/2 tablespoon of butter until crisp, about 30 to 60 seconds, turning once halfway through. Rest on paper towel.
- When rice is mostly tender, add cooked squash, Parmesan, and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until dairy is melted and squash is heated through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, using sage leaves as garnish.