Our Food Adventures in Chicago

butternut squash risotto

In home cooking on April 13, 2010 at 7:27 pm

this recipe is the shit. seriously.

i cooked it over a month ago, when it was much much colder outside & the richness of the ingredients was too tempting to pass up! i mean… butter, bacon, cheese, and wine… mmmm. plus, the squashes looked so cute – they were just asking to be put in my belly:

si senor!

so this dish is probably not the healthiest, what with the bacon that i substituted in for pancetta (which is a bit more delicate and less fatty, i think) and the copious amt of butter! i mean, i halved the amount that Ina Garten originally called for and it was still really really creamy. Ina likes her food RICH!

buttery nutty squash

and yes, making risotto is bit labor intensive, since you have to keep stirring and adding liquid bit by bit, in order to really make the rice soak alll the flavors up…


and yes, it is hard to keep stirring risotto while listening to various cute noises from the super mario games that alex kept playing on the computer, making me all sorts of jealous because I WANNA PLAY TOOO!! :(((

super mario!

but overall the meal was COMPLETELY worth it. it was hearty, rich and delicious. the squash’s sweetness totally melded with the smoky salty yumminess of the bacon to make each bite a total explosion of flavor! soooo good.

yeaa boxed wine!

oh, and be sure to serve it with only your finest boxed wine. yea… we keep it fancy around here.

butternut squash risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto
adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter – I cut this in half & it was still really rich
2 ounces pancetta, diced – I used bacon instead
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads – I left this out, but it still tasted great
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.


  1. ohhhh ho ho ho i’ve wanted to eat butternut squash risotto for so long. come home sometime and make me some!! haha. i LOVE risotto.

    • when/where have you had risotto before? i just discovered it with this dish and it was instant ♥ so good! come over sometime & ill make you some! and you can visit twixie too 😛

  2. yeah, i wanna come visit you! i still haven’t seen your apartment all furnished yet. and i haven’t seen cute twixie in a while!

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