Monday, February 8, 2016

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

     Last night as the game was starting, Dear Daughter was standing by the stove trying to determine if her risotto was just right.  Every once in a while she would take a break from stirring and ask me to take over while she caught a glimpse of the game.  She wouldn't be gone long - not wanting to relinquish total control of her dish to me.  I have to admit - there were times that I wanted to ask if she needed more broth or if she had added salt.  But instead of asking, I savored the moment of having my daughter near me in the kitchen.  In the end, I didn't have to worry.  This kid can make mean risotto!

     This recipe was published in Bon Appetit in October of 1997.  I remember the issue vividly.  Dear Husband and I were living in Augusta, Georgia at the time and we spent many a weekend hunting down ingredients for our Saturday night dinner.  This was the first risotto we  made and it quickly became our favorite.  It hails from the Alba region of Italy and is very easy to make.  Uncork a nice Dolcetta d'Alba and enjoy hanging out in the kitchen.

Risotto with Squash and Pancetta
Bon Appetit, October 1997

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6 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
2T olive oil
3 oz pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 cups butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups arborio rice

2T butter, room temperature
2T grated Parmesan

Bring the broth and wine to a simmer in a saucepan.  Reduce heat and keep warm.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add pancetta; sauce until cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Add squash and onion and stir to coat.  Add rice and sauce an additional minute.  Add two cups of broth.  Adjust heat so that the liquid bubbles gently.  Stir until the liquid has been absorbed.  Continue adding broth one cup at a time until the rice is just tender.  Simmer until each cup has been absorbed and keep stirring.  This will take about 20 minutes.

Mix butter and 2T Parmesan into risotto.  Season with salt and pepper and spoon into  warmed bowls.  Top with additional Parmesan.


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