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This dish was inspired by the Chef and owners at Emelias Kitchen, George and Sara. My husband and I attended their most recent wine and food pairing event, and as always, were absolutely delighted with all of the incredible food they served! One of the most outstanding dishes, was a risotto served in half a baked butternut squash – positively, mouthwateringly wonderful! I was thrilled when I found this recipe and although it wasn’t quite as creamy and delicious as the Emelias version, I enjoyed it all the same.


3 tablespoons butter
4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons golden brown sugar
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups beef broth
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 slices bacon, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped shallots
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup riesling
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squash. Sprinkle with sugar, then salt and pepper. Saute 6 minutes. Cover, cook until almost tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
Uncover, sauté until browned but still holding shape, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
Combine chicken broth and beef broth in a large saucepan and bring to simmer, cover and set aside to keep warm.
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add bacon, sauté until beginning to brown. Add shallots. Saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Mix in sage and thyme, stir 1 minute. Add rice, sauté about 4 minutes.
Add wine, stir until wine evaporates, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup warm broth, simmer until broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup broth, simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time and cooking until rice is just tender and risotto is creamy, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in parsley and squash. Cook until squash is heated, about 1 minute. Transfer risotto to large shallow bowl. Serve, passing cheese separately.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2008