Gio’s Cucina

“Welcome to Gio’s Cucina!”

-Chef John Ruggeri




Gio’s Cucina is your source for mouth watering recipes straight from Head Chef John Ruggeri’s Secret Recipe Book. Check back each month for a new dish!


Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Risotto Soup



  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stick, finely sliced
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1 1/2 cups risotto rice
  • 5 cups hot chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons double (heavy) cream
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large sage leaves
  • Salt and ground pepper


Place the butter in a large pan with the oil and heat gently. Add the onions and celery, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the butternut squash and cook for 3-4 minutes, and then add the sage. Add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until the grains are slightly translucent. Add the chicken stock a ladleful at a time.

Cook until each ladleful of stock has been absorbed before adding the next. Continue adding the stock in this way until you have a very wet rice mixture. Season and stir in the cream. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the sage leaves for a few seconds until crisp. Drain.

Stir the blue cheese into the risotto soup and ladle it into bowls. Garnish with a fried sage leaf.