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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Early Monday, as New York City and the rest of the East coast was preparing for the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, an unyielding urge to get in the kitchen and whip together something comforting came over me. While I still had gas and heat and power, maybe only for a short duration, cozying up to a big bowl of creamy risotto seemed exactly what I needed to help weather the impending storm.
This decadent butternut squash risotto is chock full of fall flavors, with velvety Monterey Jack cheese, toasted pine nuts, and smoky pancetta adding savory richness and depth. Serve yourself a heaping bowlful, pour yourself a glass of a crisp Chardonnay, and settle in to a perfectly satisfying autumn meal.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta & Jack Cheese
Preheat oven to 475°.
Place squash on a nonstick jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 20 minutes or until tender, turning after 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Combine broth, water, wine, and rosemary/tarragon in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat.
Cook pancetta in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan; drain on a paper towel. Discard pan drippings. Add onion and oil to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add rice to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. (Do not stir; rice will have a liquid consistency similar to stew.)
Place pan in oven; bake at 325° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir in the squash, pancetta, cheese, salt, and pepper. Cover with a clean cloth; let stand 10 minutes (rice will continue to cook). Sprinkle with pine nuts. Garnish with rosemary/tarragon sprigs, if desired. Serves 4.
Love butternut squash? You’ll fall for the flavors in this Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup recipe.