Friday, March 12, 2010

Roasted acorn squash risotto with sage and a side of Muse!

Being that risotto is my ultimate comfort food, I could make it every night of the week, but then I would really have a weight problem, so I try to treat myself to it a couple of times a month. And being that I saw the most amazing show last night, Muse, I couldn't stop listening to them. This was the first show I have seen in a large venue (United Center, Chicago) in ages.

I tend to go for the smaller gigs...Empty Bottle, Double Door, Schuba's....but I could not pass up the opportunity to see Muse. I have wanted to see them live for a long time, and when I was supposed to see them play with the Cure and Interpol in 2004, they cancelled the day-of due to illness or injury (I cant remember which). Muse played yesterday, the day after Z turned 5, so we thought it would be fun to take her. She has been to over 30 gigs, but mostly outdoors, so this was her first big indoor show. We went equipped with her ear protectors and watched the amazingly produced show from the seventh row. I felt like I was back in high school watching U2 during the Joshua Tree tour, it was exciting, intense and energetic. Z danced until the very end when they left the stage and the venue lights came on. It is so great to share that experience with our daughter.

So back to the food...

The acorn squash and sage made the house smell like autumn cooking, which is appropriate with the dreary, damp weather we are having.

For this recipe, I first roasted an acorn squash, and then chopped it up to use below. First I cut the acorn squash in half and then in quarters, removed the seeds and laid the pieces, flesh side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. I sprinkled with some fresh-ground salt, pepper and olive oil, and baked at 350' for about 30 min, or until tender.

1 acorn squash, roasted, peeled, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, see above
5 1/2 cups stock or broth (I use Celifibr bouillon cubes)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
5 teaspoons freshly chopped sage, divided
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the broth in a saucepan, and keep at a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven, or my favorite risotto pot, melt the butter over low-medium heat, add the onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the squash and 4 teaspoons of the sage and continue to saute for 2 more minutes.

Add the rice and stir until white spots appear in the center of the grain, about one minute. Add the wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Using a ladle, add a ladleful of broth and stir while maintaining a simmer, until absorbed, and continue to add ladlefuls one at a time until the rice is al dente and the mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the parmesan, remaining 1 teaspoon of sage and fresh ground pepper. Mix well.

Serve immediately, in shallow bowls.

Buon appetito!

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