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posts tagged ‘butternut squash’

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta & Jack Cheese

Monday, October 29, 2012 at 02:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

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 time, cozying up to a big bowl of creamy risotto was exactly what was 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 (or a few!) of buttery Chardonnay, and settle in to a perfectly satisfying autumn meal.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta & Jack Cheese 

Adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira wine or sweet Marsala
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or tarragon
  • 4 ounces chopped pancetta
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
  • 2/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) 1/2-inch-cubed Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • Fresh rosemary or tarragon sprigs (optional)
    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.

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    Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup

    Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 12:11 PM - Posted by Megan - (12) comments

    There’s nothing quite like autumn in New York. My favorite time of year brings crisp, cool sun-drenched days, the anticipation of holidays right around the corner and the most incredible selection of seasonal produce. Last weekend, I was strolling through a local farmer’s market and came across a table brimming with big, beautiful butternut squashes.

    The sweet nutty flavor and vibrant orange color of this versatile gourd is especially appealing (plus, it’s packed with nutrients, like Vitamins A & C, potassium and fiber), so I scooped one up and was inspired to whip together a hearty, fall-flavored soup with it.

    The buttery squash shines in this rich and robust recipe—a perfect course for Thanksgiving or any other cold-weather meal.

    Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup Recipe (makes 4-6 servings)

  • 1 (2-3 lbs) whole butternut squash
  • 3 cups chicken stock (I prefer low-sodium organic)
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you like some heat—I used 3/4 tsp)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

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