The weather is turning colder. The leaves are changing color. Earth-tone colored clothes are in the stores. Finally! At last! Autumn! It’s so close. Just a few more days and it’s officially time. Time for stews, and squash, and apple cider donuts. The best flavors of the year start soon. To celebrate my favorite season, I made my Autumn season opener: risotto. Every year I like to make Butternut Squash Risotto at least once. It’s the tastiest. This year, I had fancy new Williams-Sonoma Calphalon pans that I wanted to use in my first ever attempt to make Baked Risotto. I love that whole stove to oven to stove dance that I can do with these.
So I wanted to do that dance a lot. I started off roasting the squash and mushrooms with a little bit of thyme. The pans are non-stick, so I just used a tiny bit of olive oil spray. It worked like a charm! I like my butternut squash with a little bite left to it, but if you don’t, then go ahead and let it roast longer. And make sure your pan is oven-safe!
I’m not going to lie to you right now – I was nervous. I’m so used to stirring my risotto and being able to check it (taste-test!) frequently. So this was a little weird. But you know what? It worked! When it was done in the oven, I just finished it with my secret weapon – coconut milk – and it was all set! The coconut milk adds a lot more creaminess to the risotto than butter, plus a little bit more flavor as well. It’s my sneaky way of making the risotto slightly more decadent.
Just a quick note: Wrapping the handles in aluminum foil is a good visual reminder that the handles are HOT when they come out of the oven.
- 2 cups (10oz) butternut squash, ½ inch cubes
- 2 cups (5.5oz) mushrooms, halved or quartered - depending on size
- 4-5 sprigs of thyme
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2-3 cups broth, chicken or vegetable - divided
- ¾ cup white wine
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- Pecorino Romano cheese - topping
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 375.
- Lightly use cooking spray on a large, oven-safe pan. Wrap the handle in aluminum foil. Add butternut squash, mushrooms, and thyme, and toss lightly to coat in oil. Bake about 15 mins, or until squash is fork tender. Remove from oven, and transfer contents to a bowl, and set aside.
- Return the pan to the stove. Turn up oven temperature to 425. Lightly spray again, and saute the shallot about 1-2 minutes. Add rice, and stir until it's coated in the oil. Add the wine, and stir continuously until it is absorbed. Add 1½ cups of the broth, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, and bake in the oven 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Transfer from the oven to the stove. Stir in ½-1 cup of broth as needed. Finish with coconut milk, salt and pepper. Add the squash and mushrooms, stir to heat it up. Serve with cheese.