Risotto Nero with Squash & Burrata

Oakes makes this gorgeous risotto with Venere black rice, a naturally black short-grain rice. The glossy grains are especially striking served with the golden butternut squash puree and creamy white burrata.

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Recipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 1 pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 sage sprig
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Venere black rice (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 pound burrata or fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 6 pieces
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the squash with the sage sprig, 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1/4 cup of water; season with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, until the squash is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Discard the sage.

  2. Transfer the squash to a food processor and let cool slightly. Puree until smooth and season with kosher salt and pepper. Scrape the squash puree into a medium saucepan and keep warm over very low heat. 

  3. Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Keep warm over very low heat. 

  4. In a large saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion and a generous pinch of kosher salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until well coated 
with oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed. 
Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the stock to be nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a creamy sauce, 35 to 40 minutes total. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and season with kosher salt and pepper.

  5. Spoon the squash puree into shallow bowls, then spoon the risotto on top and garnish with the burrata. Top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil and serve. Pass additional cheese at the table.


Venere black rice (riso Venere) is a short-grain rice that is less milled and more nutritious than other types of rice. It is available at specialty stores and amazon.com.

Suggested Pairing

Fruit-forward South African Chenin Blanc.

Contributed By Photo © Chris Court

1058176 recipes/risotto-nero-squash-burrata 2016-01-05T17:21:21+00:00 Nancy Oakes beans-grains-and-legumes|vegetarian|weeknight-dinner recipes,risotto-nero-squash-burrata 1058176

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