We hope you all are staying warm, wherever you are. I am loving this crazy weather because I truly love the seasons. Not many things make me grumpy, but if it’s warm when it’s supposed to be cold or when it’s cold when it’s supposed to be warm, I get a little grumpy. I like my seasons, and this cold weather just makes me happy. That being said, I truly feel for those people who don’t have a warm place to call home, and they are included in my prayers every night. This cold weather definitely calls for comfort food, don’t you think? When we visited our son and daughter-in-law over the holidays, she made this delicious butternut squash risotto for lunch one day. We had it with a nice green salad, and it was such a good meal, that I wanted to share it with you. This week I made the same recipe, which comes from my gal Ina Garten, and I served it for dinner. There was enough for us both to have hearty servings (Mr. Right had seconds), and there were leftovers for lunch the next day. Risotto takes at least 30 minutes to prepare, but it is super simple to make.
- 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 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 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 cheese. Mix well and serve.
Next week is a big week around here. We both have birthdays (Jordan’s is Monday), and our blog turns seven. Stay warm gang, and we will see you back here tomorrow for our first Seasons’ Saturday Selections of the year.