Fried crispy sage must be one of the best flavors in the world. It is a classic pairing with winter squash and it works beautifully in this risotto. If you haven’t ever had it in a brown butter sauce with pasta, I suggest you drop what you are doing and try it now.
In this case, the crispy sage and the blue cheese melt into the risotto and combine really well with the sweetness of the roasted squash.
Squash Risotto with Blue Cheese and Crispy Sage(serves 4)
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Rub inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put skin side down into a baking dish and bake for 40-60 minutes or until nice and tender. Scoop out flesh & roughly chop.
In a medium skillet over medium to low heat melt 1 tablespoon butter. When melted and foaming subsides, add sage and fry until lightly browned and crispy on both sides. Remove from heat, pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
In a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven melt butter over medium low heat, add leeks and a pinch of salt. Sweat for 5 minutes stirring regularly. Mix in rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add white wine and bring to a very low simmer, stirring constantly until wine is almost evaporated. Start adding in broth a ladleful at a time, stirring until cooked in. When the rice starts to soften up add the squash and break up any large pieces. Continue cooking, adding broth and stirring as necessary until rice is cooked with just a teeny bite left. Taste and correct for seasoning.
Serve hot with blue cheese and sage leaves crumbled on top. Serve extra at the table.