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Butternut Squash Risotto to be paired with The Velvet Devil Merlot 2016

  • Author: Chef Amanda Cohen
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This risotto’s burst of natural sweetness from the butternut squash is contrasted beautifully by the spicy pumpkin seeds. As these two flavors bounce on the palate, the juicy and pure Velvet Devil Merlot rolls them together to form one smooth, vibrant flavor bomb.


  • 1 small butternut squash (plus 1/4 cup small diced butternut squash 1 cup raw pumpkin (pepita) seeds)
  • 1/4 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 pinches of cayenne
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup white onion (diced)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin oil Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place cut-side down on a baking tray and bake until soft – this should take about 30 minutes.
  3. Pro tip: Slice the butternut squash lengthwise with a WÜSTHOF 8-inch CLASSIC Cook’s Knife, also known as the work horse of the kitchen. This knife’s weight and balance make it the perfect heavy- duty food prep tool for cutting into thicker vegetables.
  4. Meanwhile, mix 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and cayenne together. Once mixed, add in pumpkin seeds and toss to coat.
  5. Spread spice-covered seeds evenly on separate baking tray in a single layer and place in oven when squash has 10 minutes remaining to cook.
  6. Roast seeds until they start to pop, about 10-12 minutes. Remove both seeds and squash from oven and let cool.
  7. Once squash cools, scoop the flesh out of the skin and puree in a high-powered blender until very smooth. Reserve one cup and set aside.
  8. In a medium-sized pot, warm 6 cups water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  9. In a separate medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Once hot, add onions and garlic and saute until fragrant and slightly translucent.
  10. Next add the rice to the saucepan and toss it until the rice is translucent, about 7 minutes.
  11. Add the cooking wine to the saucepan and stir until the wine has evaporated. Repeat the process with the lemon juice.
  12. Start slowly adding the simmering water from the pot to the rice mixture in one cup increments while stirring constantly. Note: the rice and water need to be same temperature before adding more liquid to the pan. To accomplish this, add a cup and stir until it’s fully incorporated before adding the next cup.
  13. When there are two cups of water left in the pot, add one cup of butternut squash puree and stir until it’s fully mixed. Next, add one cup of the water and squash mixture to the rice, stirring until it’s incorporated completely.
  14. Add the diced squash to the rice mixture, and then add the second and final cup of water and squash mixture.
  15. When the rice looks juicy but there’s no liquid sloshing around, add the 2 remaining tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until combined and take off heat.

To Serve:

  1. Taste the risotto, adjust salt levels as needed.
  2. Plate, then garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin oil.
  3. Serve alongside a glass of The Velvet Devil Merlot.
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