Butternut Squash Wheatberry Fauxsotto

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I won’t call this a risotto because it’s not. It takes much less time than a traditional risotto and doesn’t quite achieve the ability of risotto to “stand-up” when it’s ready. What this is is one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve prepared in a long time and yet it is so incredibly simple it can easily be made on a weeknight when time is minimal.

Butternut Squash Fauxsotto

adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c wheatberries (mine are from the Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • 3 c broth (I used chicken but use whatever you prefer)
  • 2 c butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 t fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (optional, I used dehydrated onion flakes)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese, for topping

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and Thyme until onions soften (if you use dehydrated onions you don’t really need to wait) add wheatberries and cook, stirring often, for just a few minutes.

Turn up heat to medium-high, add 2 c broth and squash. Stir constantly but allow pot to simmer.  The squash will break down and the broth will absorb. After 2 c of broth is absorbed, begin adding a little more broth at a time until it is absorbed. Repeat until last cup of broth has been added. When the fauxsotto has thickened, it is done.

Serve with fresh grated parmesan on top and optionally add sprigs of fresh Thyme for garnish.

Serves 2

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Pea and Sausage Risotto

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My roommate’s last graduate school class is tomorrow night. Therefore, Thursday has been coined the beginning of our “operation bombshell”. Have no fear, that essentially means we won’t allow ourselves to eat 2 dozen Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies in 2 days. Though if you decide to make them, good luck not eating at least 5 straight out of the oven. Since I’m not taking any classes this semester, I’m merely sympathy snacking. I don’t want her to feel bad for eating more cookies than me, you know? I’m a good friend like that.

We might even get crazy and shake the dust off of Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown. The two times we did it were pretty entertaining. Or I may just stick to the gym. Catching up on world news while I get my sweat on is more my style. And my attention span stinks. I need people and things to look at to pass the time. We’ll see.

What I’m getting at is that this risotto dish was incredible easy, reasonably nutritious (I know, I know… there is SAUSAGE in it) and modifiable. Soy Sausage or chicken sausage could easily replace the Hot Italian Sausage I used. I also used very little oil and mostly water to cook the risotto. And because it was so tasty, I won’t omit it from my “operation bombshell” menu. Whatever that means.

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{Pea and Sausage Risotto}

Inspired by Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 links hot italian sausage (I used 3 leftover links… already cooked)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 T chipotle olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 3/4 arborio rice
  • 4 c vegetable broth (I used 1/2 c veg. broth with 3 1/2 water)
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

If your sausages are uncooked, brown them in a skillet over medium heat. If you wish, you may break them apart and cook crumbles. I chose to slice mine.

In a large sauce pan, saute onion in olive oil. When tender, add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add rice and basil and cook for several minutes. Continue to stir often.

Add about 1/2 c broth and bring to simmer. As rice absorbs broth, add more at about 1/2 c at a time. When you have about 1 c of broth remaining, add in cooked sausage and frozen peas. Add remaining broth until absorbed.

Taste test risotto to make sure rice is tender and not undercooked. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

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