This post is sponsored by Parmigiano Reggiano and I have been compensated. As always, all opinions are my own. #ad #theonlyparmesan
Have you nabbed those Honeynut squash at the grocery store yet? They’re adorable! Smaller than their butternut cousins and sweeter too. I like them because we are a two person household and one of these squash is the perfect serving size for us. They’re also delicious in this Autumn Squash Risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano.
One honeynut squash has just the right yield for this risotto, but if you can’t find honeynut, use about half of a butternut. For more sweetness, I also like diced apple and a bit of shallot.
A good risotto should always have cheese and my pick is Parmigiano Reggiano. The deep umami flavor that real Parmesan imparts is second to none. How do you know you’re getting the real deal? Check the rind. The pinpoints actually spell “Parmigiano Reggiano”. If you don’t see them, don’t buy it.
Another thing to look for are little whitish blooms within the cheese – those are amino acid crystals that form with the aging process. It’s completely natural and actually adds a snappy little crunch to the cheese.
Before starting the risotto, It’s important to have all the components prepped. You’ll also want to have a your hot broth at the ready. Cook the squash in butter and oil until it just starts to get tender. It shouldn’t take too long because they’re cut to such a small dice.
The apples and shallots come next, followed by the rice. Arborio rice is a shorter, more oval shaped grain than regular rice and its what you need for authentic risotto. Add the rice and about a cup of the hot broth, stirring constantly until most of the broth has been absorbed.
Continue adding broth in small increments, stirring constantly and only adding more broth as the previous addition has been nearly completely absorbed. Crumbled sage added about halfway through cooking adds an earthiness to this dish.
When the risotto is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese and a skosh of vermouth (optional).
Autumn Squash Apple Parmesan Risotto
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups fall squash such as butternut, honeynut or acorn 1/2" dice
- 2 shallots minced
- 1 medium apple peeled, seeded, diced
- 3/4 cup arborio rice
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano divided, finely grated
- 3/4 teaspoon dried sage crumbled
- 2 teaspoons vermouth optional
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped (optional)
- In a heavy pot over medium heat, add the butter and oil and heat until bubbly. Stir in the diced squash and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes until slightly softened.
- Measure the vegetable broth in a microwaveable glass measuring cup and heat for 3-4 minutes until very hot. Set aside.
- Add the shallots and apples and stir for one minute. Add the arborio rice, stirring to combine. Add about 1 cup of the vegetable broth, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Add more broth about half a cup at a time, stirring constantly between each addition.
- About 10 minutes into the simmering add the crumbled sage, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer and stir, adding more broth when the previous addition has been nearly absorbed.
- It should take about 20-25 minutes of adding broth, stirring and simmering before the rice is cooked through. When it's done, stir in 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese and the vermouth (if using). Taste for seasonings and adjust, adding additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Transfer risotto to a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve.
More Fall-Inspired Side Dishes:
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