Creamy risotto accompanied by caramelized butternut squash, sausage and pear is a delicious primo perfect for cooler fall weather days. Roast and caramelize all ingredients in the wood-fired oven, and finally combine everything into a perfect and delicious symphony of flavors. Risotto is such a marvelous dish resembling a perfectly white canvas on which one's imagination and culinary possibilities can be absolutely unleashed to create countless and delicious dishes to satisfy any palate.
Dice the onion and cut the butternut squash and pear into small cubes.
Take the casing off of the sausage and break it into smaller pieces.
Simmer the chicken or vegetable broth in a pot for later use.
Drizzle some olive oil in a preheated skillet, (we used the Pentole Agnelli) and place in the sausage, butternut squash, thyme and a little salt into the skillet, stirring all ingredients together.
Place the skillet in the oven and allow the sausage and butternut squash to sizzle in the oven.
Once the sausage and butternut squash begin to sizzle and start to brown, add the diced onion. Slide back into the oven. Finally towards the end also add the pear to caramelize.
You may need to add some salt. Keep in mind that the sausage is already salty. Place the skillet back into the oven.
Remove the skillet from the oven once the ingredients have married and slightly caramelized. Transfer everything into a separate bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, add 1/3 of the butter, olive oil and finally the Arborio rice.
Toast the rice as you constantly stir and until it has become translucent. You will know it is ready when the rice grains are no longer white but almost transparent. Normally one would add some white wine to the toasted rice and allow it to "sfumare" or cook out. We did not have any on hand.
At this point add a ladleful of the simmering broth and stir it into the rice. Allow the rice to absorb the liquid. Continue adding a ladleful of broth each time the liquid has been absorbed making sure to stir continuously. This process is a bit laborious but definitely worth it. The starch from the rice is slowly released giving the risotto the typical, creamy consistency. This process of stirring and adding broth will take about 20 minutes or until the rice is soft but still a bit "al dente".
Fifteen minutes into this process incorporate the butternut squash with sausage and pear, making sure to reserve some for the plating when it is time to serve. Stir gently and add a little more broth.
Mantecare is the final step in making risotto. As the butter and cheese are added to the risotto it crates a very creamy consistency, typical to risotto.
Turn off the heat source and add in the remaining butter and grated Parmigiano. Gently combine all the ingredients. This is when some Gorgonzola could be added to the risotto.
Serve the risotto immediately and garnish each plate with the remaining roasted butternut squash, sausage and pear.
Top everything off with additional Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil. This dish would be perfect topped with some crumbled gorgonzola cheese. It is now ready to be served. Enjoy!