Butternut Squash Orzotto

by Shawnda on November 2, 2010

in Baby & Toddler Friendly,Lighter & Healthier,Pasta, Rice, and Grains

Butternut Squash Risotto/Orzotto

I really enjoy making Foodie Baby’s baby food. Shocking, I know. Baby food is super easy. Bake or steam (I almost always baked), and then dump in the food processor and press On. Another bonus, it was insanely cheap. During peach season, I could score loads of peaches, plums, and nectarines on the cheap. A serving of peaches or plums only cost me .06. 6 cents! This place was Puree Central up until recently, our deep freezer full of baggies of ice cubes in every color of the rainbow.

We had our hits and misses. She strongly disliked blueberries and green beans (and strongly isn’t even a strong enough word). She would screech if I took too long loading the spoonful of avocado mashed with a little lime (who wouldn’t?). And heaven forbid I not heat up enough spiced peaches! While she has moved on to chunkier, use-your-hands foods these days, she still loves the deep red plum puree mixed with Greek yogurt for breakfast.

Butternut squash is another favorite but she won’t eat it pureed anymore. Unfortunately, I have quite a bit of extra butternut squash puree in the freezer that I am determined not to waste – so we’ve repurposed “baby food” into “big people food.”

I stirred some of the thawed puree into “orzotto,” orzo cooked risotto-style, and served it with sliced chicken breast and some wilted, garlicky, fresh spinach. It might have been 91 degrees outside but it sure smelled and tasted like fall! It was a nice surprise when the Foodie Groom went back for seconds – and then asked me to make it again. Good thing, too – we still have plenty of puree left!

Butternut Squash Orzotto

Repurposed butternut squash puree makes baby food a big people food.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped (1/4-1/3 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 glug white wine (optional)
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 3/4 cup butternut squash puree*
  • 3 cups chicken broth, warm
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. * Cut a squash in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil, and season cut sides with salt and pepper. Bake for ~45 minutes at 425, until fork tender. Let cool, peel away the skin, and process in a blender/food processor 'til smooth. Alternately, you could just bake and mash or blend.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Add onions and stir occasionally, until mostly browned.
  4. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Deglaze the pan with wine (if not using, add a splash of the chicken broth), stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated. Increase heat to medium, add the pasta and stir until coated.
  6. Add the chicken broth 3/4 cup at a time, allowing most of the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Stir frequently.
  7. Before adding the last of the broth, add the pureed butternut squash, cinnamon, and cayenne.
  8. Add the parmesan and remove from heat just before all the liquid has been absorbed. Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Yields: 4 Servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 254 | Fat: 8.3 | Fiber 4
WW Points: 5

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elizabeth November 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

How long did this take? It sounds delicious and easy and very fall-ish, but I need quick dinners for the post-preschool Starvin’ Marvins. Risotto is out for a weeknight, but pasta is so much faster than rice, this must be quicker?

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2 foodiebride November 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Elizabeth – if you just soften the onions rather than caramelize them, you can get this done in ~20 minutes, start to finish.

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3 Lauren at KeepItSweet November 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

yum! i bet this would work well with pumpkin too:-)

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4 Ele November 3, 2010 at 2:38 am

Yummy! going to try this for my little girl! Thanks!

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5 Jessica November 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Yum! I’ve been wanting to make butternut risotto, but would love this too!

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6 katie November 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm

What a fantastic idea…I wish I had done that with all of F’s homemade babyfood.

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7 Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) November 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Such a great idea! I will definitely try this as we also have leftover frozen cubes of squash! Thank you!

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8 cheffresco November 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm

This looks so good! I would think for myself though, not even for a baby. =)

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9 Univof NewHampshire March 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm

This was amazing. Made it for the Boy, and perfect for a College Student budget!

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10 Meg December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

This was a huge hit at Thanksgiving dinner! Making this again tonight with chicken and spinach to help chase away the bad weather blues :)

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11 Alison April 26, 2012 at 8:23 am

I’ve made a variation of this. With sage instead of the cayenne and cinnamon and adding apples. Make it into a soup with chicken broth.

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