Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by things falling out of the freezer, this morning.

It was 5:30ayem and I was rummaging around the freezer to see what I wanted to thaw for dinner. A little 2-pack of lobster tails took a nosedive onto the floor. I picked them up to put back and knocked a half of a butternut squash – and it fell to the floor. Did I mention it was 5:30ayem?!?

I looked at the two things and decided they weren’t going back in – they were dinner. A recipe was born.

Risotto is seriously one of the easiest dishes to make. I think it got its difficulty reputation from restaurants that want to charge a ton of money for three cents worth of rice. Really. If you have 20 minutes, you have risotto.

And  at it’s core, it’s just wine, broth, and rice. Everything else is just what you have on hand and want to add. Tonight, we added lobster and butternut squash. I tend to use either Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice for risotto because they are both very forgiving. They will maintain texture even as they get creamy and are almost impossible to overcook. Arborio is the rice you are going to find in the grocery store, so use it. I have a box of it, as well. In fact, I have about a dozen rices in the cupboard at any given moment.

I like rice.

Butternut Squash and Lobster Risotto

  • 1 cup carnaroli rice (or arborio)
  • butter and olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups clam broth
  • 2 small lobster tails, chopped
  • 1/2 butternut squash, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the onion and pepper in the olive oil and butter until the onion is translucent. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is coated with the oil and beginning to look translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a second or two.

Stir in the wine and stir and cook until it is absorbed.

Stir the clam sauce in 1/2 cup at a time, stirring regularly and adding the next 1/2 cup when the previous has been absorbed.

About midway through, add the squash.

Continue adding broth until it has been mostly absorbed and the rice is al dente.

Stir in the lobster and mix it well as it cooks. It will only take a minute or two.

Stir in the cheese, and then the parsley and oregano.

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

Twenty minutes.

I use a butter and olive oil mixture for flavor. You can use all of one or the other. Your dish. Your call.

You can switch out the clam broth for chicken, beef, or vegetable broth. Switch out the lobster and butternut squash for mushrooms, chicken – or just about anything you have lying about. Risotto is a great clean-out-the-refrigerator dish!

Have fun with it!