We're knee-deep in squash season. And while it's easy enough to whip up a classic butternut squash soup, you might be looking for a little extra inspiration when it comes to taking on the beige beast sitting on your counter. Enter Sabrina Tinsley, chef/owner of Osteria La Spiga. Think of Tinsley's Butternut Squash and Lentil Farrotto as an updated risotto: you get all the wintry comfort of the dish, minus the starchy heaviness (not always a bad thing, but how many pounds of potatoes and stuffing did you have last week?), plus the nutty crunch (not to mention protein and fiber) of farro.
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 cups chopped tomatoes
½ cup lentils, soaked for at least 30 minutes
1 cup farro, soaked for at least 30 minutes
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and rosermary sprig and saute until the onions are tender. Remove the rosemary sprig and mince the leaves; set aside. Add the squash to the onions and cook down over medium-low heat until fork tender. Drain the lentils and farro, and add to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the stock, minced rosemary, salt and pepper, and optional cayenne. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils and farro are to your desired tenderness. The consistency of the dish should resemble creamy risotto. Add some stock if it seems too dry.