Spiced Kabocha Squash Risotto

From Giada De Laurentiis, Happy Cooking



4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 large vanilla bean

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ medium kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ cup finely chopped onion

1½ cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice

¾ cup dry white wine

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


In a medium saucepan, warm the broth and 1 cup water over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and add them, the bean, cinnamon, and cayenne to the broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.

Add the squash to the simmering broth and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the squash to a side dish. Turn the heat on the broth to very low and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of the broth to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.

Discard the vanilla bean and turn off the heat Gently stir in the cooked squash, the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and the salt. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.

easy risotto recipe

Photographed by Alli Shepherd.