Risotto with Butternut Squash, Porcini Mushrooms and Lobster
By Chef Nicola Mastronardi at Vincenti Ristorante - Brentwood, CA

Serves 6

  • 3 tbsp butter Paradiso Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ shallots, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup butternut squash, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 oz Fresh porcini mushrooms (if unavailable, use frozen porcini or another available, meaty mushroom, such as shitake)
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 cups Greppi Carnaroli rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 5 cups lobster stock (recipe follows)
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 whole live lobster
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper

For the lobster stock:

4 tbsp Paradiso Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1-2 celery stalks
1-2 carrots
1 lobster carcass, with head
2 tbsp brandy (can also be substituted with white wine)

Directions for the lobster stock

1. In a deep pot, bring plenty of water to a boil. Submerge the lobster for about 7 minutes. When it is fully cooked, carefully separate the meat from the shell. Reserve the meat for later.
2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot (all of which have been roughly chopped into large chunks)and lobster carcass (broken into pieces, head included). Sauté for a few minutes and add the brandy. Cover completely with ice and let cook down on a medium-high flame, reducing the stock to about half, about 20 minutes. When it is done, strain the liquid and keep just warm in a saucepan.

For the risotto:
3. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp Paradiso Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add 2 tbsp chopped shallot, followed by the cubed butternut squash. Cook at low heat until the squash is very soft (try not to add any water unless it is absolutely necessary).
4. Place the butternut squash in a blender or food processor until you obtain a smooth puree. Set aside.
5. In another pan, sauté the mushrooms, roughly chopped, in 1 tbsp Paradiso Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a whole clove of garlic (discard the garlic at the end) and the sprig of thyme for about 3-5 minutes or until just softened.
6. In a heavy pot heat the remaining Paradiso Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add the remaining chopped shallots. Gently sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the rice and “toast” it for 1-2 minutes, then add the white wine and allow it to evaporate. 7. Using a ladle, begin adding the lobster stock to the rice and cooking over a medium-low flame. Continue adding the stock as it gets absorbed by the rice, one ladle at a time until the rice is cooked al dente (about 15 minutes). Add 2 tbsp of the butternut squash puree and remove from heat. Add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir them in until the risotto has its creamy consistency throughout.
8. Very quickly sauté the chopped lobster meat in a little Paradiso Extra Virgin Olive Oil (no more than 30-45 seconds) and add salt and pepper. To serve the risotto, place a portion in each plate and top with the sautéed porcini mushrooms and the lobster. Sprinkle a little parsley on each dish and serve. Buon appetito!