Thursday, October 09, 2008

BB: Butternut Squash Risotto

YUM! Although it's not extremely photogenic, Ina Garten's Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash is delicious! This was my first attempt at risotto, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Rachel from the blog Rachel Likes To Cook picked the first Barefoot Bloggers recipe for October - and she made a great choice! Making risotto is not for the faint of heart - it was pretty time consuming (1 1/2 to 2 hours total), but I'm definitely glad I took the time to try it! This recipe is creamy and rich, and the butternut squash provide just enough sweetness to give it a perfect sweet/savory balance. If you're thinking about leaving out the squash - don't do it! Ken even ate this . . . and we discovered that Piper loves roasted butternut squash.

Saute pancetta, shallots, and butter
Add white wine and riceSlowly add chicken stockAllow rice to absorb each additionYUM!

Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash
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

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes (I did not peel the squash; I could barely cut it! I peeled it after roasting). 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 (Ha! It took at least 45, maybe more). Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan. Mix well and serve. - Recipe from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style, via The Food Network


Suzie said...

Yours looks delicious. I'm glad you and your hubby are convinced about squash. I love it, esppecially in salads!

webbie said...

It looks lovely. And isn't there something rather zen about standing there and stirring?

Megan said...

I noticed you have a list of your favorite cookbooks. What do you think of Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals?

Erin said...

Oh, this looks so good. I LOVE butternut squash and risotto. I'll have to give this a try. I've never cooked with saffron, though. But I've been wanting to...