I've had a butternut squash sitting on my counter for almost two weeks now. Seems to be fine still, but definitely time to be used. I don't cook much squash in general, so I guess I could say I'm not a huge fan. But there is something special about butternut squash. Besides that I love its appearance, it's great for soups, in ravioli, as a side dish roasted, mashed and mixed with cream and butter. And tonight we'll see if we love it still, with risotto.
5 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup finely diced Pancetta
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Carnaroli rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp minced fresh sage
1 butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds give or take.
Slice the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Roast in a 400f oven, cut side down, for approximately 30 minutes, until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the squash, puree in a food processor until smooth. Keep about 1 1/2 cups for the risotto and reserve the rest for another use.
Heat chicken broth to a light simmer, keep over low heat to keep broth hot. In a large sauce pan, fry pancetta until crispy. Remove pancetta to a dish and keep oil in pan. Add enough olive oil to pan to make a total of 2 tbsp. Saute the shallots until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and rice and stir to combine letting rice fry for about a minute. Deglaze with the white wine. Once wine is almost absorbed, start adding the chicken broth, just enough to cover the rice. Stir only once when you add the broth and let simmer slowly until almost all broth is absorbed and repeat this process until rice is just al dente. You may need a bit more or less broth.
If the butternut squash puree is chilled, rewarm it. I roasted mine earlier in the day and just zapped it in the microwave. Stir the squash into the risotto, then add the mascarpone, and the sage. Once risotto is hot again and everything is well combined, add the parmesan and pancetta and stir to incorporate. Finish with a sprinkle of candied pecans. So very good.