September 01, 2005


Butternut Squash:

Cut squash in two where the neck flares and meets the bulb. Peel and seed squash neck and bulb. Cut neck into small dice. Roughly chop pieces from bulb. 

Reserve neck and bulb pieces separately.

Place diced squash neck in saucepan and cover with stock (about a two cups).

Bring to boil over high heat and then lower heat and gently simmer for about 10 minutes until just tender when pierced with a paring knife, Be careful not to overcook the squash-the pieces should remain intact. Remove diced squash from liquid and set aside.

Return stock to make 7 cups for the risotto.

Place roughly chopped squash from the bulb end into a steamer basket. Cover and steam squash until soft-about 10 minutes. Put squash in a blender and puree, adding a little of the stock used to simmer the diced squash, if needed, to create puree.

Reserve squash preparations separately.

Sage & Prosciutto Risotto:

Place stock in saucepan and heat to a gentle simmer. 

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in heavy bottom sauté pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. 

Add risotto to pan and stir to coat with melted butter and onion. Add 1/2 cup white wine and reduce, stirring, until almost gone. Add a cup of hot stock and reduce, stirring every minute or so, until absorbed. When first cup of stock is absorbed, add another and repeat, stirring until Risotto is tender with a slight bite. Grains should be whole, with a creamy look. Add grated Parmesan cheese, prosciutto and sage. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. You should not need much salt.

Scallops and Squash Butter Sauce:

While cooking risotto, heat 1/3 cup of olive oil in a clean sauté pan to medium-high heat until hot (oil shimmers in pan).

Dry scallops with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. 

Quickly sauté scallops in olive oil for about one minute per side to brown them.

Add chopped shallots to pan, stir for another thirty seconds or so. Remove scallops and set aside. Add white wine and boil for a minute, scraping pan bottom. Add squash puree to wine and reduce until sauce is thickened slightly. 

Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in solid butter pieces, one by one, until absorbed in sauce (wait to add the next piece until the last is incorporated). Do not boil sauce or it will separate. Put scallops back in sauce add diced squash and heat very briefly.

To Serve:

Place mound of risotto in middle of warmed dinner plates and neatly place scallops around risotto. Nape (cover) scallops with butternut squash butter sauce. Garnish with a few fresh sage leaves.

Wine Suggestion:

A full-bodied, oak-y Chardonnay is a perfect match for the buttery richness of the scallops, risotto and sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Gilbert Pepin


Butternut Squash
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 cup homemade chicken or vegetable stock or low sodium store bought
Sage & Prosciutto Risotto
  • 7 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock or low sodium store bought
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cup risotto
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 pound Parmesano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma ham
  • 4 springs of fresh sage chopped at the last minute
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Scallops and Sauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lb dayboat scallops
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces
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