Fall Squash Risotto with Ricotta Salata and Sage

Gavin Kaysen

Demi, Minneapolis


  • Risotto:
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 onion, diced small
  • 4 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 bottle white wine
  • Squash Purée:
  • 6 butternut squash
  • 3 kabocha squash
  • 2 acorn squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 onions, roughly diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Garnish:
  • 1 ounce ricotta salata, cut into triangles 
  • 4 leaves sage, chiffonade


Make the risotto: heat the chicken stock in a large pot until warm. In a large sauté pan, sweat the onions. Add the rice to the onions and toast for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce until the liquid has evaporated. Ladle in the warmed chicken stock and stir. Once the stock has evaporated, add another ladle to the rice and stir. Continue to add stock and stirring until the rice is al dente, thick, and creamy.

Roast the squash: preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Season it with enough extra-virgin olive oil to lightly coat the squash, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme , and ground cloves and place on a sheet pan. Cover the sheet pan with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes, until tender.

Scoop the squash out of the skins. Sweat the onions and garlic in a large sauté pan and add the squash. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Purée the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Assemble the plates: spoon the risotto into a shallow soup bowl. Garnish with the ricotta salata and sage and serve.


6 to 8 servings