my chef friend lives in a village outside of Florence and buys olive oil from my relatives who still live in one of the familys' ancestral homes. The tower is from the 11th century...yikes!
Peel the butternut squash. Cut it into cubes and set it aside.
Thinly slice one shallot
Peel and slice a 1 inch piece of ginger and chop it finely.
Set all of it aside.
Measure out 1 cup of arborio rice and a tsp of saffron. Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil in a pot, swirl it around so that the bottom of the pot is coated in the oil.
When the oil is hot, toss in the ginger and shallot or garlic.
Stir everything around until the shallot is translucent, and starting to brown.
Add in the toasted crumbled saffron.
Add in the cubed butternut squash.
Stir it around so that it is coated with saffron, ginger, and shallot Add in the arborio rice and stir it around until it is hot to the touch.
Pour 2 cups of water into the mixture in the pot.
Bring it to a boil, then cover the pot, and turn down the heat all the way to low
Let everything cook for about 14 minutes. The water should be absorbed by then. Stir the rice for the first time, then add in about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.
Check the salt then Place it into individual bowls. And get ready for the balsamic vinegar.
Shave a bit of aged Parmesan over each serving.
Then drizzle a bit of aged balsamic over that.
Serve it up, and Florentine dinner is on the table.