PASTA "RISOTTO" WITH SQUASH AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cup in 1/2" dice
4 cups Rich Vegetable Broth, divided, heated to the simmer (see Basic Techniques)
1 cup orzo or riso pasta
1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup freshly minced Italian parsley
freshly ground pecorino romano
Heat the butter until foamy. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Saute them with the thyme, slowly until they begin to brown.
Add the squash and stir to coat with butter. Pour in 1 cup of broth, cover the pan, and braise the squash for 10 minutes until partially cooked.
Stir in the pasta and 2 cups broth. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the broth is absorbed and the pasta is creamy and risotto-like, adding more broth as needed.
Off the heat, season with salt and white pepper to taste. Fold in the parsley. Sprinkle lightly with cheese. Pass more cheese at the table.
(Adapted from, Pasta Harvest by Janet Fletcher; Chronicle Books, 1995)