Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
Hello, strangers! I apologize for leaving you without any proper “goodbye,” or even a “talk to ya later.” I promise I wasn’t planning on taking a break from the blog, because if I was, I would have surely left a note. You mean more to me than that.
… But I’m back. I hope you’re as excited as I am.
In my opinion, there is no tastier side dish than roasted winter vegetables this season. Carrots, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, zucchini, onions, mushrooms… Really, whatever I have on hand is perfect—lightly tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted until tender. Delicious and nutritious!
I could eat the same dinner for a week straight and be perfectly content, which is typically the case when I’m cooking for one at school… But when I was home for the holidays and had a whole household to feed, I thought I would switch it up in the kitchen one night. Instead of making roasted vegetables as the side dish, I made Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto.
Risotto is relatively easy to make, but the only downside is you have to be hyper-vigilant over the stove while constantly adding broth and stirring… Your sisters may get fed up with waiting for dinner and go out and eat In’N’Out instead of your hard-labored home cooked meal… So make sure you plan your dinner menu in advance because hungry people don’t like waiting.
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto recipe adapted from Ina Garten:
1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
7 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces pancetta, diced
3/4 cup minced shallots (3 large)
3 cloves garlic, minced
7-8 fresh sage leaves, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
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 ½ 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 garlic and sage leaves and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. 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 cheese. Mix well and serve.