Hiya! How are you guys! What have you been up to?!
Here in So cal everyone is (1) burning up, literally it's still over 100 degrees out. And (2) rooting on the Dodgers in the world series. It is quite an exciting time to be a Southern Californian. Do any of you follow baseball? I'll be honest I'm not as consistent as I should be but I do love me some Clayton Kershaw. We were watching the first game last night and Jared goes... 'that's the only dodger's name you know of, isn't it?' Unfortunately, he was totally right. I'm pretty ashamed... before I was a total yearbook nerd in high school I played a good eight years of softball.
Besides failing at baseball knowledge, I have been listening to Jenna Kutcher's podcast 'goal digger' all week. There are few women that I actually stalk on the internet but she genuinely has it all figured out. She is a total inspiration if you are in the blogging world or are an entrepreneur. But she is also cool if you just need a good kick in the butt to get your life going. Give her a listen, you won't be disappointed. She is almost ALWAYS on while I'm cooking!
Speaking of cooking... I made us Risotto this week!
Not just any risotto... a roasted butternut squash studded rosemary risotto!
Whoa, that's a mouthful, but a delicious one ;) This dish was totally inspired by two different instances completely! One, from my college dining hall (hear me out, ha!) and two, from our recent trip to Italy!
I went to the University of Northern Colorado (where I started this blogging world of mine!) and we just happened to be blessed with the BEST dining hall. I'm not kidding. It was filled with steak and chimichurri and a Belgium waffle bar on the REGULAR. Luckily I only had a meal plan with like three swipes a week or I would have BLOWN up. I also know it really was just an unusual delicious dining hall because Jared's (at Colorado state university) was like a B- on a good day.
Every fall they would bring out this amazing butternut squash risotto as a dinner option and I always knew I wanted to recreate it!
Okay, second inspiration!
When we went to Italy last month we met this amazing couple from Pennsylvania on a water taxi over to the little colorful island of Burano. They graciously extended their lunch reservations to Jared and I at one of the coolest restaurants of Italy 'Al Gatto Nero' It is this super teeny tiny michelin start restaurant with a cozy homestyle Italian feel. Ernest Hemingway has even dined there and ate the risotto that we ordered. Basically it was a risotto I will never forget. Everyone on instagram told me I should recreate some of the dishes we had to help my 'vacation with drawls'. So I took your advice!
First off let me just say, DONT' BE AFRAID OF RISOTTO!
Seriously, everyone makes it out to be like the hardest dish ever but it's NOT! It is seriously broth, wine, arborio rice and whatever you wanna flavor it with. The hardest part is just having patience to add in each broth addition. Just make sure your phone is charged and turn on your favorite you-tuber for a little while you make it! I would suggest Meghan Rienks for some humor... She gets me through any Risotto.
I put the dish into these little baby pumpkins. Which in hindsight was a fun idea but when it got down to it I also realized I need a new knife set. #notsponsored I genuinely just need some new knives. Ha! They were extremely hard to cut the tops off but pretty easy after that. They roast up really nicely and you can actually eat the insides. They are great for your veggie friends when you still want to present a great 'main' or entree instead of just serving them sides. Add this butternut squash studded rosemary risotto to your fall cooking bucket list!
Roasted Butternut Squash Studded Rosemary Risotto
4-6 Mini Pumpkins
3 Cups of butternut squash, diced
4 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & Ground black pepper
5 Tablespoons of butter
1 Shallot, minced
1 1/2 Cups of arborio rice
2 Teaspoons of kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/4 Teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary
1/2 Cup of pinot grigio or dry white wine
6 Cups of vegetable stock
1 1/2 Cups of shredded parmesan cheese
+Pumpkin seeds for garnish
Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut tops of small pumpkins and remove seeds and insides. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Add butternut squash cubes, olive oil, salt and pepper to a separate sheet pan. Mix well and bake pumpkins and squash for 25-30 minutes or until golden and tender.
In a large pot bring vegetable stock to a simmer.
In a large saute pan heat butter on medium-low heat until melted. Add in shallots and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add in arborio rice and coat with butter. Stir in white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add two ladles of vegetable stock to rice along with rosemary, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Stir consistently until most of the stock has absorbed but not dry. Add in another two ladles and repeat until absorbed again. Continue to stir and add in 2 ladles full stock until all of the stock is incorporated. This process should take you about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butternut squash. Serve in small roasted pumpkins and top with pumpkin seeds!