Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto with Spiced Butter
INGREDIENTS
  • Servings: 6
  • 4 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chervil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped marjoram leaves
  • 1 Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound squash, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 5 cups chicken stock, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, small dice
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
DIRECTIONS
  1. For the butter: In a bowl, crush the roasted garlic with a spoon. Mix in the butter, chervil, marjoram, ground cinnamon, and ginger and set aside. For the butternut squash: In large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the squash and season with salt. Cook for 6 minutes until golden on all sides. Add brown sugar and cook until the squash is caramelized and tender, but not mushy. Set aside and keep warm. For the risotto: Bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan add the pancetta and saute until lightly browned. Add the shallots, stirring until softened. Pour in the arborio rice, sage and thyme cook for 4 minutes, stirring until well coated. Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, simmer until mostly absorbed. Add the hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed by the rice. Continue to add stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to release the starch. Check rice for doneness after 18 minutes, rice should be al dente but cooked through. Stir in Italian parsley, kosher salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the spiced butter.
  2. Gently fold in the squash. Serve immediately.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
I got this recipe from another personal chef friend. It is to-die-for and can also be used a main dish too. When my family wants a deep fried turkey instead of the traditional, I make this instead of stuffing.