Da Fiore's Butternut Squash Risotto


The Da Fiore restaurant in Venice, Italy, is internationally known for its exceptional food. This delicious butternut squash risotto courtesy of chef and owner Mara Martin, and her son, Damiano, author of "The Da Fiore Cookbook: Recipes from Venice's Best Restaurant."


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), trimmed and peeled

  • ¾ cup mild oil, preferably sunflower-seed oil

  • ¼ small onion, diced

  • Coarse salt

  • 1 ½ pounds (3 cups) Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice

  • 8 cups hot Vegetable Broth

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling


  1. Cut squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Cut each half into 4 pieces. Using a knife or mandoline, slice squash pieces 1/8 inch thick. Set aside.

  2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add squash, season with salt, and add enough water to cover. Cook, simmering, until squash easily breaks apart, about 20 minutes. Stir in rice, then add a cup of broth. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, adding one cup of broth at a time, as necessary; the rice should almost completely absorb the broth between additions.

  3. Add cheese, stirring to incorporate, then continue cooking, adding broth as necessary, until rice is al dente and mixture moist but not watery, about 8 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in butter, and adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Divide risotto between 6 serving plates, and drizzle with vinegar. Serve immediately.

Related Articles