Source: Simply in Season
Serves: 4 – 6
Oh my God, this was good. I feel like I should just leave it at that and tell you to go make it. But it’s Thanksgiving week, and this is a food blog, and I should probably explain why this dish deserves a place at your holiday table. And even if you don’t want to make it this week, since you probably already have traditional dishes that will take up your time and stomach space through next Sunday, you should give it a try the week after, when you’re tired of rich food but are still craving the quintessential flavors of late autumn.
This faux risotto is light and buttery from a kiss of parmesan, sweet and creamy from tender butternut squash, and zesty with fresh sage. It is like November in a bowl, comfort food laced with good-for-you squash.
It took a while to prepare, what with all the chopping and sauteing and simmering, but it’s easy prep. I was on the phone with a good friend for the duration and didn’t make any critical errors, so I consider it an excellent meal for multi-tasking, actually.
Try it. Phone-chatting optional.
1 T. olive oil
1 C. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 C. butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (what you’ll get from about two pounds of squash)
1/2 C. vegetable broth
1/2 C. white wine
1 C. orzo, uncooked
4 C. water or broth
1/2 C. parmesan
2 T. fresh sage*
salt and pepper to taste
*I definitely recommend getting some fresh sage for this recipe. But if you use dried, throw it in with the squash while it’s cooking, instead of stirring it in at the end.
Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and saute until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. Add squash to pan, stirring to mix all veggies together. Add broth and white wine. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until squash is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 12 – 15 minutes. (Or longer if necessary — you want the squash to be very tender but still holding its shape.)
While the squash is simmering, bring 4 cups water or broth (I used one cup of broth and 3 cups of water) to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta in colander and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Stir butternut squash mixture into pasta. Add parmesan and sage and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.