Roasted Squash Risotto with Fried Sage leaves

4 cups            vegetable broth
2 Tbsp.             butter
1 Tbsp.            extra virgin olive oil
1 cup                        yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp.            garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp.            fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup            white wine*optional
1-1/2 cups            Canaroli or arborio risotto rice
1 whole             butternut squash
1/2 cup             Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the butternut squash in half, and place cut side down on parchment –lined sheet pan. Bake until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and cool to the touch.  Remove the seeds and peel or cut off the outer skin.  Cut one-half of the squash into 1 inch cubes.  Puree the other half with ½ cup of warm broth in a blender until pureed.  Set aside until ready to use.

To fry the sage leaves, heat 2Tablespoons butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the  sage leaves and cook just until slightly crisp {the butter will just start to foam.} Remove the pan from the heat immediately {so it doesn’t burn- butter will turn brown very quickly!}  With  slotted spoon, remove the leaves onto a plate lined with paper towels.

Heat broth on low simmer until warm. In a medium saucepan,  add the melted sage butter {from the fried sage leaves}  and oil over med. high heat.  Add the  onions, garlic and sage and sautee until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the rice and stir for a minute until well coated. Add the white wine and reduce the liquid  by half.  Stirring continuously, add the broth in 1 cup increments as the liquid evaporates. Within 20 – 25 minutes,  or when rice is al dente but not quicked cooked and creamy in texture, add the butternut squash puree.  Continue cooking for a few minutes or until risotto is cooked and ready to stir. Fold in the butternut squash cubes and the Parmesan cheese. Serve at once with fried sage leaves and more grated cheese.

Buon appetito! copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

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