Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

The recipe that started it all. A little over a year ago I was swooning over this risotto recipe to a dear friend. "So easy! So delicious! You've GOT to try it...." I sent her an email with the recipe- my own notes and suggestions included- and it worked. I don't want to put words in her mouth, but I do believe it was the first time she made risotto at home that she liked, or had the confidence to make risotto at home.... The rest is history.

Pictured: Risotto with Sautéed Haricots Verts

Butternut Squash Risotto

5-6 cups chicken stock
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
2 tsp olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced
finely dice a thick slice)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt & Ground black pepper
2 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

- In a saucepan, combine stock and squash; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a low; let simmer (squash will not cook completely).

- Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta; cook,
stirring, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, set the pancetta on a paper towel to drain; set aside.

- Add the onions and garlic to the rendered fat; cook, stirring, until translucent, 8 minutes. Add the rice, raise heat to high, and continue stirring until the edges of the rice are transclucent, 3-4
minutes. Add the wine; cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium high; season with salt and pepper. Add about 1 cup of the hot stock and squash mixture. Cook, stirring until nearly all the stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock and squash, about 3/4 cup at a time.

- Cook, stirring constantly, allowing each addition to be nearly absorbed before adding the next,
until the rice is creamy but a little firm in the center (al dente), 20-25 minutes. Stir in the parsley and pancetta. Serve.

Adapted from the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

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