Risotto Alla Paesana (Country-Style Risotto)

I’ve never been a huge fan of Butternut Squash. Perhaps that’s because it was usually puréed, and I found the flavor too bland and sweet, and the texture sort of yucky. That view has been changing for the past few years, as I learned about roasting and caramelizing cubes of the squash and serving it with polenta or other grains.

Now, I have a new favorite way to use it: shredded and made into a risotto, country-style. I found the recipe recently in the book, Risotto, by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman, written in 1987. I’ve had the book in my library for more than 30 years. I’ve often consulted it to make risotti, but I had never tried this recipe.

I have known of and admired both authors over the years. Barrett, as a food writer and resident of Cambridge, MA, and one who has written four cookbooks I use regularly, and Wasserman, as the founder and original co-owner of Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge — which in my opinion, is one of the very best cheese and specialty foods shops in the country. I’ve been a regular customer at Formaggio for at least 35 years, beginning not long after Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal became the owners.

prep the ingredients
garnish with butternut cubes and sage leaves
a top-quality Carneroli rice is advised
this Godello from Spain is a good match

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