In the Kitchen


Question: Anyone else having trouble with this whole fall back situation? I’m tired, cranky and seem to be craving two things: Halloween candy and carbs. To help curb one of these cravings, I decided to make a pot of my go-to fall risotto Monday night. Risotto tends to be a little time-consuming but this recipe all-in-all took about 45 minutes to complete. Not too bad at all. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto

*slight modifications from Ina Garten’s recipe in Family Style


  • 3 cups diced butternut squash {time-saver: purchase pre-cut squash}
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • 6 cups of chicken stock {I tend to use a bit more}
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine {I used chardonnay}
  • 1 tsp. saffron threads {the good stuff from Spain}
  • 1 cup freshly graded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach


  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the pre-cut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast for 30 minutes, checking at 15 minute to toss.
  3. Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and simmer on low.
  4. While squash is roasting and stock is simmering, melt tablespoon of butter in a dutch over pan, add the minced shallot and saute till translucent. Add in the rice and allow butter/shallot mixture to coat rice and “toast” for 2-3 minutes. This brings out the nuttiness in the rice.
  5. Add the wine and cook for two minutes. Add is two ladles of stock and saffron threads. Stir and simmer till stock is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is cooked and begin to take on a creamy texture. Typically, this takes about 6 to 8 cycles. I know it’s close when the rice takes on a creamy texture.
  6. Off the heat, stir in butternut squash, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and season to taste. For presentation, I add a bit more cheese!

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