Butternut Squash Risotto with Beet + Basil Pesto

IMG_8052.jpg

4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 medium yellow onion diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups short grain rice, arborio or carnaroli will do
½ cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups roasted butternut squash cut into small cubes
1/2 jar Beet + Basil Pesto
½ grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt & pepper
2 eggs
1 - 2 cups breadcrumbs
Oil for frying


Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil. Once butter is melted, add the onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Bring broth to a rolling simmer in medium saucepan, then reduce heat to low. Add rice and stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid has evaporated. Season with salt & pepper. Continue adding broth, 3/4 cup at a time as rice absorbs liquid, stirring constantly and simmering until rice is tender, 30–40 minutes. Add wine, making sure to pour a glass for yourself. Add butternut squash just before rice is done. Mix thoroughly to fully incorporate squash into rice mixture. Add more broth if needed. Liquid should be evaporated but still creamy.

Stir in Jar Goods Beet + Basil Pesto. Feel free to add more to really bring out the flavor.  Lastly, grate Pecorino Romano on top.

Now, you can serve immediately dividing into four bowls or plates, adding a dollop of BB Pesto and more cheese.

Or, let mixture rest for at least two hours (or refrigerate overnight, covered) to make risotto cakes. Here’s how:

Heat oil (can use olive or canola) in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place breadcrumbs in shallow dish. Beat the eggs and mix into the risotto. Form small two-bite patties and coat in breadcrumb mixture. Saute patties on each side for 3 - 4 minutes in total. You are looking for a light brown crispy finish. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Serve immediately with extra Beet + Basil Pesto for dipping.


Melissa Vitelli