Crave Brothers Mascarpone Butternut Squash Risotto


By: Anthony Garcia of Moreno Valley, CA

Background:  The squash puree adds a level of flavor while the creaminess of the mascarpone cheese gives the dish a depth of richness. Both of these flavors are linked together with the fresh/crisp flavor of the apple and quick kiss of tartness from the balsamic vinegar.

Squash Puree

1 medium butternut squash, halved, seeds removed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Risotto

3 cups chicken broth
1 cup hot water
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
½ White onion, finely chopped
½ pound   Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Mascarpone Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish

1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon aged Balsamic vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Drizzle each half of squash with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. On a non-stick sheet pan, add squash face down. Place in oven, bake until the flesh is golden brown and cooked through.  Remove flesh, place in blender, puree.

In a medium mixing bowl, add pureed squash, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper to taste, mix; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add broth and water, bring to boil, then turn down to simmer; hold. In a 5- quart saucepan, over medium heat, add 3 Tablespoons butter, melt. Add onions, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add wine stirring and cooking, until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir 1 cup simmering broth into rice, stirring and cooking constantly, keeping at a simmer, until absorbed.

Continue cooking, adding broth, about 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently, letting each addition be absorbed before adding next. Continue until rice is just tender and creamy-looking, but still al dente, 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in mascarpone cheese, 1 cup butternut squash puree, and remaining 3 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with apple slices, drizzle balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4-6 servings (can be main dish or side)

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