Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Browned Butter

By • November 30, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Simple and indulgent, this recipe takes the nutty creaminess of kabocha squash and adds another layer of flavor with brown butter. Sure to be a weeknight favorite! Can also be substituted with Butternut Squash.MyTableForOne

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Serves 1

  • 1/3 cup Arborio, medium or short-grain rice
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock (NOT low-sodium, can use bullion)
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Sunflower or Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Pancetta, or 2 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kabocha Squash, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Crème Fraîche (OPTIONAL)
  1. Set 3 cups of water in a small saucepan to boil and add bullion (if using stock, add 1 extra cup of water), setting aside remaining water for later. Boil until cube has softened, stir to dissolve, and remove from heat.
  2. Add pancetta and chopped shallots to a 2-qt (or medium) saucepan. Over medium heat, saute until pancetta is crisp and shallots are translucent, about three minutes. Remove pancetta and shallots and reserve in a plate. Do not remove bacon drippings.
  3. In the same saucepan, add kabocha. Saute until brown over medium heat, 3-5 minutes. Add butter and lower heat, stir until butter begins to brown and foam begins to settle, 3-5 minutes. Add bacon-shallot mixture, sage and garlic, stir until fragrant, 1 minute.
  4. Add your rice and, keeping a consistent stir, toast over medium-low heat for another 2 minutes.Keeping a consistent stirring motion, add the 1/4 cup wine to deglaze and turn the flame to medium. As soon as the wine boils down and you’ve stirred up all the yummy brown bits, add your chicken stock 1/3 cup (or the spoon you’re using) at a time. Since this is a small dish in a medium pan you may find the water evaporating too soon, so use the 1 cup of reserved room-temperature water in small splashes to slow it down. Keep adding broth in 1/3-cup increments after the water boils down. Do not allow the rice to get completely dry or stick to the pot. Do this for approximately 17-20 minutes (last three minutes being your preference for al-dente).
  5. At the last minute of cooking, stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper (TASTE before you add salt), one splash of broth and Crème Fraîche (optional). Cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowl and garnish with parmesan.

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