Butternut Squash Craze: Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

Roasted butternut squash is combined with pancetta, sage, and Parmesan cheese for one delicious side dish.
By Taylor Kadlec

This summer I joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for the first time.  If you’re not familiar with what a CSA is, it’s basically where you support a local farmer by paying them up front for a “share” of vegetables and fruit, and then receiving your share from the farm weekly or bi-weekly.  As a newbie to this concept of CSA’s, I quickly found out there were pros and cons to this process of purchasing produce.  The ‘pros’ included trying new vegetables I had never seen/heard of, having a ton of produce every week, and I felt great knowing that I was supporting a local farmer.  The ‘con’s turned out to be that I received a lot of things I’m not a big fan of, I felt like I couldn’t go to the farmer’s market because I was already getting enough produce from my CSA (and I love the farmer’s market!), and some weeks it was an inconvenience to have to pick it up.

All in all, joining a CSA was a great experience!  My favorite part of the whole season was the last two weeks when I got a ton of winter squash.  I got so many different types of squash I couldn’t even identify half of them, and there were so many of them I could barely carry them from my car to the house in the bag I had them in!

This risotto is one of my squash-athon recipes and it is definitely my favorite.  Besides the star ingredient, the butternut squash, there is pancetta, shallots, sage, and Parmesan cheese, which all combine to make a super tasty and seasonal side dish.  It’s a perfect accompaniment to a roasted chicken or turkey on a chilly fall evening.

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto
 
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Roasted butternut squash is combined with pancetta, sage, and Parmesan cheese for one delicious side dish.
Author:
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1(2-3 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced sage
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss butternut squash in olive oil, then season with salt. Roast in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, tossing after 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot warm broth over low heat.
  3. In large heavy duty saucepan or Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add shallots and pancetta and saute for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat with butter. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of broth, salt, and 1 tsp of salt, and cook until broth is absorbed. Stir constantly.
  6. Continue adding broth, one cup at a time, stirring constantly, until all broth is added.
  7. Remove from heat them add cheese and butternut squash, and mix well.
  8. Top with additional Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
 

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