Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Butternut Squash Risotto

I knew I would like this recipe because a) I love to make risotto, b) anything with pancetta is good and c) I really enjoy butternut squash in the fall.
I love seasonal food. It makes everything seem more special. So eating my first dish this year with butternut squash in it was like a little fall celebration.
I am putting up the original amounts, but I cut them in half. It is only my and my hubby.
ALSO I did not peel and cut the squash before roasting it in the oven. I hate trying to peel and cut raw butternut squash. I get cut and annoyed. So I just cut the squash in half, put it in the oven skin down and roasted it for about the same amount of time as in the original recipe.

Butternut Squash Risotto
  • 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

OR:Cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and place skin down on a baking sheet. Spread some olive oil on the squash and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Then dice the squash and remove skin.

Back to the regular directions now!

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

Here is the pancetta and (ahem) onion. I didn't have shallots :(

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.

Right before I add the rice.

Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.

Then, AGAIN they left out this important step. Pour yourself a glass of wine and drink while you cook. Or else the recipe will not be as good.

Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.

The beautiful finished product!

I liked this risotto, I personally would have preferred the pancetta to be crispier. Maybe if I make it again I will cook that first in the pan so it can cook longer and get crisp.

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Veronica said...

Looks beautiful and pouring yourself a glass of wine? Nice. I used bacon instead of Pancetta (forgot to buy it) and I did cook some extra to crumble on top.

chocolatechic said...

Looks beautiful.

Prudy said...

Great idea with the squash. Looks fabulous.

Suzie said...

Great tips re roasting the squash and the glass of wine. Guess I'll have to make it again and see....

Summer said...

Looks delicious. Good tip for the squash and I love the glass of wine.

Anonymous said...

Looks good! I wish I'd thought to roast the squash first. I cannot stand to peel it either!