The key to the multi-layered flavor of this dish is using one ingredient in two ways. Ben Pollinger, Executive Chef of New York City's Oceana Restaurant, sautées one half of a butternut squash and purées the other. The result is a super creamy risotto with delicious and complex flavors.
For the Sautéed Butternut Squash:
Cut the top part of a butternut squash off and peel. Cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Cut the slices into 1/4-inch thick sticks. Cut the sticks into 1/4-inch pieces. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and squash. Season with the salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Reserve.
For the Butternut Squash Purée:
Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the bottom part of the butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the cut side of the squash with a little canola or vegetable oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Roast the squash until tender. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin and puree in a food processor until smooth. Reserve.
For the Risotto with Shrimp, Butternut Squash and Sage:
Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the oil and rice. Cook for two minutes, stirring frequently. Season with the salt and pepper.
Begin adding the stock. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Cook each addition until when you run spatula through the rice it does not flow back.
Repeat until the rice is almost cooked and when only one addition of liquid remains, add the diced Sautéed Butternut Squash and shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink.
Add the Butternut Squash Puree and sage. Mix well and then divide among four bowls.