Butternut Squash Risotto

Great last day of winter comfort food – adapted from Ina Garten:

Butternut Squash Risotto (6 -8 side servings or 3-4 as main dish)

• 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 6 cups vegetable stock (chicken stock ok if you prefer)
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 ounces pancetta (or bacon), diced
• 1/2 cup minced shallots or sweet onions (I used pre-caramelized onions this time)
• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1 teaspoon saffron
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• ½ tsp nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

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

Heat the stock in a small saucepan.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter and saute the pancetta and shallots (note: if using caramelized onions, add those later) on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron. 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. [If using caramelized onions]: About half way through – add the caramelized onions and the nutmeg. Continue until the rice is cooked through, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan and 2 more tbsp of butter. Mix well and serve.


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