Dinner:  November 5, 2007

I know what you must be thinking: risotto again, Jen? Well, yes. You know I love the stuff, and I guess since the whole bacon & egg risotto thing reverberated around the internet, I’ve been a little risotto-obsessed. It’s such a wonderful carrier of flavors, and you can dress it up or down in a multitude of ways. I guess you could say it’s the food version of the little black dress, and I’m always eager to find new ways to accessorize.

Abby’s sweet potato risotto got me thinking about doing a version with roasted squash, and I can think of little that pairs better with roasted squash than fresh sage. I used leeks as the onion-y component of my basic risotto recipe, and added a cup of mashed roasted squash (the sign at the greenmarket said it was Calabaza) to the pan after I added the vermouth and before I began to add my chicken stock.

I fried a handful of large sage leaves in butter until they were crisp and added the sage-infused butter to the cooked risotto off the heat, just before finishing it with grated Parmagiano Reggiano and a splash of heavy cream. I grated a bit more cheese on top and crowned each serving with a couple of the crispy fried sage leaves. The resulting dish was like autumn in a bowl, the squash slightly sweet, the risotto creamy and comforting, and the fried sage providing a nice contrast in texture as well as a wonderful woodsy aroma and flavor.

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