Butternut Squash Risotto

Friday, 13 Feb 2009


This stuff is utterly delicious.  My Aunt Diane and cousin Emily cooked up a batch at a family dinner last week and it was so incredibly good I had to make it as soon as possible.  The recipe is Ina Garten’s Butternut Squash Risotto from  Tonight Matt and I celebrated our 5th anniversary of meeting each other — it was Friday, February 13, 2004 that we first ran into each other at Sign of the Whale in DC.  To celebrate tonight, we walked down the street and enjoyed a drink and some scallop and short-rib sliders from Manny’s by the fire in the lobby of the W Hotel in Minneapolis.  When we got home it was still early, and I decided to cook a batch of this risotto for a later dinner/snack.  It’s a very rich dish that makes a great side or even dinner, and I can’t resist anything containing butternut squash.  Also, this was my first attempt at risotto, so I was just happy it turned out to be edible.  This recipe does require a time commitment of at least an hour to account for prep time and cooking time, and it’s fairly labor-intensive throughout.


Here are the adaptations I made to the recipe to account for ingredients I didn’t have:

1. Used bacon instead of pancetta (also browned the shallots and wasn’t supposed to, according to the recipe);

2.  Used plain long-grain rice instead of arborio;

3. Didn’t use the white wine at the beginning, but added a little extra chicken stock during cooking;

4. Didn’t include saffron threads; and,

5. Used half the amount of butter called for.

Here’s a picture of what the risotto looked like just as I mixed in the Parmesan and the squash. Good eating!


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