For this edition of Barefoot Bloggers, Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook chose Butternut Squash Risotto. I have to admit I was dreading this one. Butternut Squash? Ick! I have to go to town and buy pancetta? Wahhh! The kids are gonna moan and groan. ::sigh:: Any excuse I could fine to put it off.
When am I ever gonna learn? This dish was amazing! I had a bad butternut squash experience back during my Flylady days and I just couldn't seem to get past it. Nasty tasting mush was all I could imagine. But people, roasted butternut squash rocks! I think I ate half of it before it was time to add it to the risotto! It's my new favorite food. I needn't have worried about the pancetta. I already had a package in the fridge. And as for the kids whining? (They always whine.)
They. Ate. It. And didn't even complain.
Who would've thunk it?
It also went together much more quickly that I would have expected. I had it mostly done before the squash was even done roasting. And next time ... there will be a next time ... I think it will be even quicker now that I know what I'm doing.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
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.
Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
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. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. 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.