Harvest Throwdown Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO WITH CRISPY PANCETTA
BY AMANDA AND JEAN-FRANÇOIS


“I feel almost guilty for coming in 2nd because absolutely each and every dish at this Throwdown blew my mind. Also, this recipe had been in my repertoire for a couple of years already and taught to me by my brother, a trained cook (now working at Barroco in Montreal. If you haven’t been, go for your next “special occasion” as I did last month – that meal made it to my “Top Meals of All Times” list) so it almost feels like cheating. Almost.” – Amanda
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This is the kind of dish I like to make when I’m expecting company because it always gets rave reviews and is much easier to make than it looks. You just need to keep in mind these 5 essential rules to making a good (read: kickass) risotto:

  1. Use arborio rice
  2. Use hot broth
  3. Add small ladels of broth at a time
  4. Only add broth when the previous ladel has evaporated
  5. DON’T STOP STIRRING!!!

Here’s the (approximative) recipe which yields 4 portions and leftovers for lunch:

Ingredients

1 medium butternut or buttercup squash
6 cups of broth (I cheated and used store bought, but added vegetables to it: fennel tops, soft celery, carrots, onion)
350 g. arborio rice (non-negotiable, must be arborio)
2 small onions
1 small glass of white wine
0.5 cup heavy cream
2 cups of parmigiano reggiano
salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Heat your broth in a pot.
  2. Peel and cut your squash into small pieces and add them to a pot. Cover the squash with broth and let it boil about 20 or so minutes until the squash is tender.
  3. Add cream to the squash mixture and, using a hand blender or regular blender, puree until smooth.
  4. Heat a thick-bottomed pan and add some olive oil to it. Add your onion, salt & pepper and stir until soft and translucent.
  5. Add your rice to the pan and stir constantly. When the rice is warm (not browning!), add a small ladle of hot broth. Stir constantly. When the rice has absorbed all the broth, add another small ladle. Keep stirring! And repeat.
  6. When the rice is almost al dente, add your squash mixture to your rice and keep stirring.
  7. Add the parmigiano to the rice and keep stirring.
  8. Serve al dente or once the rice has reached the texture you prefer.

I hope you enjoy!

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One thought on “Harvest Throwdown Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

  1. manypoonany says:

    We all cheat a little bit in our own way! Good thing there are no rules. This was truly delish! I will have to try it at home…

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