Thursday, November 29, 2012

Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash

Usually when I bring home butternut squash, I end up just mashing it with some butter, maple sugar and salt. It's good, but I was getting a little bored. It had also been a very long time since I made risotto, so I guess you could say I killed two birds with one stone (although most of the bird killing was probably done before Thanksgiving). Anyway, this was creamy and satisfying. A nice dish if you have the time.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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 oz.)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1.      Preheat oven to 400º F.
2.      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.
3.      Meanwhile, heat the stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
4.      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.
5.      Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
6.      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.
7.      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.
8.      Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

from Ina Garten
raw butternut squash

I conveniently bought mine already chopped
(although I did have to chop it finer).
roasted butternut squash
cooking the shallots and pancetta in butter
rice added
adding the wine
mostly absorbed
stock, saffron, salt and pepper added
absorbed (after adding stock, little by little)
adding squash and parmesan

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