Wolfgang Puck's Butternut Squash Risotto
Wolfgang Puck has been serving the stars at the Oscars Governor's Ball for years, and each time he ups the ante. Dine like the nominees at your viewing party this year with his recipe for Butternut Squash Risotto.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
On a cutting board and using a sharp, heavy knife, carefully cut the squash lengthwise in half. With a metal spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and strings from each half. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small microwave-proof bowl in the microwave oven. Lightly brush the cut side of 1 squash half with a little of the melted butter. Place the squash half cut side down in a baking pan just large enough to hold it. Bake in the preheated oven until tender, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, with a sharp knife, carefully peel the other squash half and cut the flesh into 1/4-inch dice. Put the remaining melted butter in a medium sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the diced squash and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
When the baked squash half is tender, remove the pan from the oven, use a spatula to turn the squash cut side up, and leave the squash at room temperature until cool enough to handle. With a large metal spoon, scoop the flesh from the squash shell into a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Process the squash until pureed, stopping if necessary to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Transfer the squash puree to a bowl and set aside.
In a medium-size heavy saucepan, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring continuously, just until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, until the rice is thoroughly coated with the oil and looks glossy.
Add the white wine and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Ladle in enough of the hot chicken stock to cover the rice completely, about 3 cups, and continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed. Pour in 1 cup more of the remaining stock and stir and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and the diced pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn't simmer anymore. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces. Stir in the butter along with the Parmesan until the butter has melted completely and the mixture looks creamy. Spoon it immediately into heated shallow serving bowls.
Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck Catering.