IMG_2463This was an interesting one. It’s another Ina Garten recipe, I really am in love with her food lately. I could eat roasted pieces of butternut squash all day long, like candy. So I’ve been wanting to try out some fall recipes with its yumminess full center. This recipe had kind of a crazy flavor. It’s very savory with bits of sweet squash. There were lots of comments left about this recipe on Food Network saying it was too salty and yet also bland at the same time. I could see that as it was cooking, so I actually more than doubled the amount of white wine called for in the recipe and kept the pancetta (I used bacon) at the amount used for the full recipe (this is halved for 2). That mellowed out the flavor and made it taste a little more sophisticated, but I couldn’t really taste the saffron. Adam really liked it, and I did as well. But I might try another recipe for this sometime to compare.

Ina Garten’s Butternut Squash Risotto (adapted for 2 and for my kitchen)

Half a butternut squash (about 1 lb)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used pre-made, this may be part of the lack of flavor people mentioned)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces bacon, diced
1/4 cup minced shallots
3/4 cups Arborio rice (5 ounces)
1 to 1.5 cups dry white wine (to taste)
.5 teaspoon saffron threads
.5 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. 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.

roasted butternut squash

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.

risotto in

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.

squash risotto

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. Mix well and serve.