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Butternut Squash Risotto

My mother has an enviable green thumb. I’m pretty sure she can grow just about any plant bigger and healthier than your average gardener. Case and point there is a huge butternut squash vine in her vegetable garden producing like crazy; it was a volunteer, a product of her continuous composting! So last time we were up visiting her we took home a couple butternut squash and I have been trying to think of creative ways to use them ever since.

One of such ways was Butternut Squash Risotto. While it wasn’t exactly the easiest thing I’ve ever made, it was sublimely creamy and had great flavor. We paired it with my big sister’s “bbq” salmon (also phenomenal, may have to share that sometime soon) and it was a wonderful meal.

One more side note, this makes a ridiculous amount of rice. It was WAY too much for just the two of us. I would suggest doing a ½ recipe if you’re cooking for a smaller group.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 small bell pepper, minced
1 lb risotto rice
3 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
4 ½ c water
3 oz low-fat cream cheese
Dash black pepper and salt

Boil the butternut squash for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the water from the pot and mash squash until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the rice, mashed squash, and 2 cups of water. As the rice absorbs the water, slowly add more, stirring constantly. Once most of the water is absorbed, add the cream cheese and stir until completely combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper.