The "inspiration " for this recipe appeared in the October 2004 issue of Cooking Light. However, that version had some serious flavor and texture challenges. I switched out tarragon for sage, sauted my onion in butter, and added grated Manchego instead of boring cubed Monterey Jack to give it some originality and nuttiness that played well with the pancetta. And, truth be told, I will use any excuse to eat Manchego. I also simplified the cooking method. This is one of my "signature" dishes that I love cooking for and sharing with others. —kristalberg
Test Kitchen Notes
This is a lovely, elegant dish. It's rich, earthy and nutty, but not heavy or overbearing. I especially like the simmer-on-the-stove technique, making this a good dinner-party risotto -- no need to be tied to the stove, stirring constantly. If you make this on a weeknight, don't start it at 7:00 p.m. like I did or you'll be eating at 9:00! Definitely worthy of an Editors' Pick. - mariaraynal —The Editors
Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
finely chopped yellow onion
garlic cloves, minced
uncooked Arborio rice
low fat, low sodium chicken broth
1 1/3 cups
dry white wine
minced fresh sage
aged Manchego cheese, grated
freshly ground pepper
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 400°
Place squash in a single layer on a 1/4 sheet pan or in a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes.
Warm a small saute pan over medium heat. Place pine nuts in pan and toast for 6 - 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and set aside.
Cook pancetta in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan; drain on a paper towel. Discard pan drippings.
Add butter to dutch oven and melt. Then add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until onion is tender.
Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
Add rice; saute one minute.
Stir in broth, water, wine and sage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. (Do not stir; rice will have a liquid consistency similar to stew.)
Stir in the squash, pancetta, cheese, salt, and pepper. Cover and let stand 10 minutes (rice will continue to cook).
Spoon onto four dishes, sprinkle each with toasted pine nuts and serve.