You love risotto but can’t deal with all the babysitting. We have a solution: Swap the rice for orzo and make this recipe for orzotto with winter squash and rosemary instead. Thanks to the starchy pasta, it has all the creamy texture with almost no stirring or stove-watching required. We used honeynut squash because it’s adorably mini, but any variety (like butternut, kabocha or delicata) would work. Browning the butter as you cook the aromatics adds depth of flavor and brings out the nuttiness in the squash.
Orzotto with Winter Squash and Rosemary
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 cups cubed winter squash (from about 2 pounds), such as honeynut, butternut or kabocha
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1½ cups orzo
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
1. In a medium pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter until it smells nutty and the milk solids have browned, about 5 minutes. Immediately stir in the onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the squash and rosemary, then season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until the squash is beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.
3. Add the stock and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the orzo and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the orzo is just tender and most (but not all) of the liquid has absorbed, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes. Add more chicken stock as needed if it looks dry before the orzo is cooked.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve immediately, with more grated Parmesan on the side.