Roasted butternut squash and crispy fried sage take this risotto to a new level.
3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, pressed or minced
4 cups (32 ounces) Vegetable Broth, divided
1 1/2 cups Brown Arborio/ Short-grain Brown Rice
1 small (about 2 lbs) Butternut Squash, peeled and sliced into 1/2" cubes
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Dry White Wine, optional
3 Tbsp Unsalted butter, diced
1 tsp Salt, to taste
16 to 20 Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
To prepare: Place your oven racks in the lower third and upper third positions, then preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for the butternut squash. Reserve 1 cup broth from your container and set it aside for when the risotto is out of the oven.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium to large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add 3 cups broth and 1 cup water, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in the rice. Cover the pot and bake on the lower rack until rice is tender and cooked through, about 65 to 70 minutes. It will seem pretty dry when you take off the lid, but don't worry!
Immediately afterward, toss the cubed butternut with 2 tablespoons olive oil on your lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and some freshly ground black pepper and arrange the butternut in a single layer on the pan. Roast on the upper rack until the butternut is fork tender and the edges are deeply caramelized, tossing halfway. This took 55 to 60 minutes for me, but start checking for doneness around 40 minutes.
In the meantime, fry the sage: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sage and toss to coat. Let the sage get darker green and crispy (but not brown) before transferring it to a plate covered with a paper towel. Sprinkle the fried sage lightly with salt and set it aside.
Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Remove the lid and pour in the remaining cup of broth, the Parmesan, wine and butter. Stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Stir in the salt, a generous amount of pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Stir in the roasted butternut. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed. Divide the risotto into bowls and top each with a sprinkle of fried sage.