Reading my way around the blogosphere this past week, there has been a plethora of great recipes involving pumpkin. Two that caught my eye were Natalie’s Fiscalini cheddar risotto stuffed squash and Paula’s Risotto alla Zucca (pumpkin risotto).
I was particularly interested in these because 1) I knew I had a bunch of different squash type vegetables arriving in our organic box on Friday and 2) I needed a dinner that was easy to eat on the porch as we handed out candy to trick or treaters. We always have a few friends over to help – friends who live in apartments or condos and who don’t have kids coming round – and have a nice dinner and a few glasses of wine – much to the envy of the poor harangued parents taking their kids out. One year we ought to have adult tricks (i.e. wine!) to hand out. Some of those mums and dads looked like they needed a glass….
Anyway, I digress…
I loved the look of Natalie’s stuffed squash but the ones I was using would not have held much risotto had I not scraped some of the flesh out. I thought Paula’s risotto in Natalie’s squash would make a great compromise! So I simply halved them, salted, peppered and nutmegged them and roasted them for about two hours on 325F until the flesh was scoopable.
I followed Natalie’s recipe to a T making the risotto up until the point where you add the cheese. At this point, I moved over to Paula’s recipe, adding the squash puree with the cheese (I didn’t have any exotic cheeses on hand, just Parmesan and aged Gouda so that’s what I used).
Once I had stuffed them, I let them sit for about 30 minutes on top of a warm stove – we weren’t quite ready to eat. Just before I popped them in the oven at 350F for about 20 minutes, I sprinkled more grated cheese on top.
The result? Cheese + risotto + butternut squash = perfect “sitting on the porch handing out candy to trick or treaters” meal. Easy to eat and warming. And more-ish. Even hard core carnivore Neil (who looked dubiously at his plate when I gave it to him) said he could and would have eaten more!!!