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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. Slideshow:  Rice Pilaf RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 


Credit: Chris Court

Recipe Summary

1 hr 15 mins
4 to 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.