Friday, October 10, 2008

Butternut Squash Risotto

A day late but definitely not a dollar short on this recipe! This dish was even more delicious than I could ever have imagined it to be. This is quite possibly the best risotto I have ever had. The wonderful flavors of the risotto are the perfect compliment to the tender, sweet caramelized roast squash. This dish is a wonderful way to welcome fall. It would be an ample meal on it own but is also a nice side dish. I served mine along side filet mignons that I pan seared. The two together with a glass of red wine were decadent. I also served a delicious fall salad with dried cherries, pear and candied pecans over baby romaine. A big thank you to Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook for this week's Barefoot Blogger pick.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style by 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.

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