Bacon & Butternut Risotto
1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
EVOO – Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Honey, for drizzling
1 quart chicken stock
1 generous pinch saffron threads
1/4 pound slab bacon or pancetta, diced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 1/2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano, a couple of handfuls
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Place squash on baking sheet and dress with EVOO, salt, pepper, nutmeg and a drizzle of honey.
- Toss to combine, then arrange in a single layer and roast til tender for about 20 minutes.
- Remove half the squash to food processor and puree with a little water or stock.
- Heat stock with saffron and 2 cups water in a sauce pot. Keep warm over medium-low heat.
- In a medium pot with rounded edges at bottom, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium-high heat.
- Add bacon or pancetta and render to lightly crisp, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add onions and garlic and stir to soften, for about 2-3 minutes more.
- Add rice and season with salt and pepper; toast for 2 minutes, then stir in wine and let evaporate.
- Add a few ladles of stock at a time stirring rapidly with each addition to build starchy, creamy quality. Rice will take 18 minutes from first addition of liquid to cook to al dente.
- Stir in squash puree and melt in butter.
- Add grated cheese and taste risotto for seasoning.
- Serve in shallow bowls garnished with reserved diced, roasted squash.
Servings: As entrée, serves 10 to 12; as main dish, serves 6 to 8