This is a little ditty I whipped up last night after noticing our fridge had only some onions, sad carrots, and a spaghetti squash. I typically use spaghetti squash in pasta or in salads, but thought it might be nice in a risotto. Of course, you could sub in any other kind of roasted squash.
Stirring pesto into a vegan risotto is nice, because it adds in the fattiness (and some protein!) you might otherwise miss with no cheese or butter.
It’s vegan and allergy-friendly, but your partner or friends can stir in some butter or cheese if they’d like at the table to make it extra unctuous. I had Garriy roast the squash during the day, so when I came home from work, even though it may seem like a lot of steps, this dinner came together in 20 minutes or so with boxed stock.
Nevertheless, and despite the mediocre photography below, this would be a nice fall main, even for company and/or as a side for grilled seafood or meat. The sage pesto smells amazing and very autumnal! Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash Risotto with Sage Pesto
- 1 small to medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
- 1 large handful fresh sage
- 1 large handful of other fresh herbs or greens (parsley, lemon balm, spinach, arugula)
- 2 Tb. and 1/4 C. olive oil, divided
- 1/8 C. pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1.5 C. Arborio rice
- 5.5 C. vegetable stock (be sure it has no soy for allergy-free, as many contain soy oil or protein)
- 1/2 C. white wine
- 1 pinch saffron
- 2 Tb. chopped chives
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: chile flakes, zest of 1 lemon, feta or parmesan cheese, fried sage leaves (fry sage leaves in olive oil till crispy)
Bake the seeded and halved spaghetti squash, cut side down, at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until tender. Scoop out squash flesh and set aside.
Make the pesto while the squash is baking–combine the sage, other herbs, lemon juice, salt, and seeds in a food processor. With motor running, slowly add in 1/4 C. olive oil. Add more lemon juice or olive oil as needed to bring combination together into a paste.
Add veggie stock to pan on back burner and heat to steaming. Keep simmering on low. Heat 2 Tb. olive oil in heavy pot, and add onion. Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat and then add garlic. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and saute 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. Add a pinch of saffron and 1 C. veggie stock, stirring till absorbed. Add stock one cup at a time, stirring until absorbed. When the rice is halfway done (stock is halfway used up), add the cooked squash. When almost all stock is used, stir in pesto.
Once all of stock is used up, add any optional flavorings like the chile flakes, cheese, or lemon zest. Stir in the chopped chives and taste for salt and pepper. Serve while hot, adding the optional fried sage leaves if desired.