This next recipe is one that I created while working at The Chew. When I create some of my recipes I like to use what I have around and use ingredients that I can repurpose for another recipe. My last recipe was my Festive Fall Pizza which was so yummy! I really loved the butternut squash spread on the pizza so I decided to incorporate it into another recipe. If you know me, you know I love anything italian and with Fall in the air anything that is warm and comforting is right up my alley. Risotto is something I love - it's the perfect comfort food and it's so versatile. I also love it because you can make arancini from the risotto. Arancini are rice balls and honestly who hates a rice ball (if you do we can't be friends)?! This arancini recipe is so warming, so velvety, and so delicious. I also decided to make this dish mini! I love to make most of my dishes mini so you don't have to feel guilty when eating these delicious balls!! Enjoy! xoxo
—Michele Figliuolo | Food is Good F.I.G.
Mini Butternut Squash Arancini | Makes 35 small Arancini
Butternut Squash Spread:
Rice Ball Mixture:
Butternut Squash Spread:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dice up the whole butternut squash into medium size pieces. Season with thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the butternut squash is baked and cooled add it to a food processor. Pulse the butternut squash and add 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of warm water, 1/4 cup of mascarpone, 1/2 cup of grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. This spread should be smooth and velvet like.
Risotto: In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic on medium heat until translucent.
Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed before the last laddle of broth add the 3 tablespoons of butternut squash spread and mix until combined. When the rice is al dente, after about 15 to 20 minutes finish with the cheese and butter. Pour al dente risotto onto a sheet tray and cool in a fridge for about 2 hours.
Once the risotto is cooled, take a medium size bowl and add the risotto, eggs, and cheese mix until combined. The rice ball mixture should be firm but not dry, if you need to add some more grated cheese do so until the rice ball mixture is able to form nice balls.
Take 1 tablespoons of the rice mixture, place in hand and form a small ball.
Roll the rice ball in the bread crumbs. Heat vegetable oil to 360 degrees F. Deep-fry rice balls and thrown in the sage until golden and crispy, place on a paper towel lined plate or dish.
Before serving garnish with cheese!