Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
We love Risotto and my favorite part of this recipe’s preparation is that it doesn’t require constant stirring! This is a great side dish to a fall meal or could easily stand alone as a main course. You can omit the pancetta if you need to make it vegetarian or can’t get pancetta. Though it definitely adds something to the dish and I’ve found that pancetta is more widely available lately.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (~3 1/2 cups)
- cooking spray
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups onions, finely chopped (preferrably a sweet variety)
- 1 tablespoon oil (1/2 canola, 1/2 olive)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄8 cups arborio rice
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 475.
- Lightly coat large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Arrange squash in one layer. Bake until tender, turning once (~20 minutes total).
- Reduce oven temp to 325.
- Combine broth and water in a saucepan, bring to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.
- Cook pancetta over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven until crisp. Drain on paper towel and discard pan drippings. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and oil to pan, saute until onion is tender. Add garlic and saute another minute. Stir in rice and saute another minute. Stir in broth mixture, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes (do not stir!).
- Place pan in oven, bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Stir in the squash, pancetta, cheese, salt and pepper. Cover with a clean cloth and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
I'm all for risottos that don't need constant stirring. This recipe provided very good guidelines for an easy meal (looking at it now, I should have added more liquid but not to worry, the end result was fine). I added some rosemary, used some left over gammon instead of pancetta, and instead of parmesan used a nice blue cheese. Delicious. And now all gone...
I've made this with pancetta and also with guanciale (I'm lucky enough to live close to Salumi in Seattle, so good ingredients are easy to come by). It is a fabulously easy risotto recipe. Switching the butternut squash for acorn squash is also a great variation, the acorn squash is actually a bit more naturally sweet, and caramelizes quite nicely in the oven. I'm actually serving this as a side to my Christmas dinner!