2.5 lbs of butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ½” cubes (about 4 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
6 Tbs butter
2 cups arborio rice
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh sage
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh thyme
¾ cup dry white wine
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat the stock, and set it to simmer.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the squash cubes and sauté until they begin to soften and brown a little, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same large pan, melt 2 Tbs of the butter. Add the onion, garlic, and celery. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened– about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook, stirring, for another few minutes.
Turn up the heat and add the rice. Stir around until the rice starts to look translucent and shiny. Add the white wine and keep stirring until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir it in. Turn the heat down to a low medium. At this point you will want to stir almost constantly as the rice continues to absorb liquid. Each time all the liquid is absorbed, add another ladleful of stock.
When you have added about half the stock, stir in all of the winter squash so it can continue to cook along with the rice. At this point, you might also want to set a kettle of water to boil. I find that I always need more liquid than the recipes call for, and if you run out of stock, you can add hot water instead.
Continue adding hot stock/water by the ladleful, and stirring until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. It will take anywhere from a half hour to an hour for the rice to reach that perfect consistency of done but not too done. You want it to be tender but still have a slight bite.
When it gets to this point, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 4 Tbs of butter and the parmesan cheese. After it is blended, put the lid on and let it sit for a few minutes.