One 3-pound butternut squash
11/2 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
10 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Arborio rice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, as needed
Sage leaves as needed (optional) – whole leaves, pan fried in butter Crumbled amaretti cookies (optional)
Cut the squash in half and season with salt, pepper and olive oil (do not remove the seeds etc). Roast squash skin side down for 30-40 minutes, check at 25 minutes until nicely softened. When cool, discard seeds and strings, then remove from flesh into a bowl. Mix the squash in a bowl with a little broth if necessary until well combined and creamy, some lumps are okay.
Heat the broth over low heat; keep warm.
Heat the oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes, add 2 teaspoons chopped sage, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme and continue to cook for a minute. Add the rice and toast lightly, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
Add enough of the broth to come 1/2 inch above the rice, and cook, stirring frequently to be sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. As the rice absorbs the broth, keep adding more, 1 cup at a time. Once the rice has absorbed almost all the broth, and the grains are just tender (al dente), roughly 20 minutes. Add the squash puree and stir well until combined. Remove from heat add the butter and cheese and stir vigorously until the risotto is creamy. At this point you may need to add a bit more of broth or water to make sure the risotto is not too thick, a true risotto is not a lump, it will be creamy and spread on your plate. Season with salt and pepper if necessary and serve immediately on flat plates.
Top the risotto with a few leaves of sage fried in butter and a sprinkling of crumbled amaretti cookies.