Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

This was a rather yummy dinner. I tasted some of Mary’s risotto one day and vowed to make it or something similar. And so, one dismal rainy summers day, I stood at the fridge, stared down the pancetta, and began to cook. Now this was kind of put together on the day, so change it as you like! (Cheap eats too!)

Here’s what you need! Serves about 6.

  • 1 mediumish butternut squash
  • Hmm.. I should weigh stuff. I used about 3 very thick cut slices of pancetta
  • 1 onion, medium sized
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 pack- 500g risotto rice
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • About 1.5 litres of stock- I used half chicken and half vegetable – Low sodium if you can get it <- That there – for any Cardiologist that I have to meet. Now my conscience is clear!
  • 30g Parmesan
  • A spoonful or so of butter and a wee bit of olive oil

What you do:

  1. Pop the butternut squash in the microwave for about one minute- this makes it easier to peel.
  2. Peel the squash, cut in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds (save them if you can as they’re nice toasted as a snack!) Cut into small cubes.
  3. Cut your pancetta into little strips or cubes. Pop it into a saucepan of simmering water for about 2 minutes. I didn’t want the smokiness to take over the dish so this way it’s not too strong. Then heat up some oil and give it a wee bit of a sizzle until it’s crispy. You may taste it here. But do not eat all of it. Ahem.
  4. Put your butter and a little drizzle of olive oil into a nice pan (must be nice..) on medium heat.
  5. Pop in your onion and garlic and cook until they’re soft
  6. Add the squash and give it about 3 minutes cooking over medium heat.
  7. Add your rice and cook for one minute or so.
  8. Get your white wine (must be good dry wine, never cook with anything you wouldn’t drink!) and pour it in, giving your rice a good stir.
  9. Back to the risotto rules- add your liquid one cup at a time and wait until it’s absorbed before adding the next one. Now it depends on your rice and personal tastes how much you end up adding. Start tasting after 1.2 litres or so gone in. You want your rice to be nice but not stodgy! When it tastes
  10. Add your pancetta, give it a wee stir.
  11. Throw in your parmesan (how I love thee parmesan…)
  12. Oh, I believe I snipped some fresh chives in. Just because I felt like it.
  13. Serve and enjoy it’s yumminess.. Now did I remember to take a picture… I shall have a root around…
  14. Eh.. it appears I yet again forgot to take pictures. So here’s one of Corgan looking dismal after exploring the coal bucket in the rain instead:


Enjoy the risotto!


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