I absolutely love risotto and this is truly the best one I’ve ever made. It has multiple layers of flavor which give it a rich and complicated taste. I could go on and on about how amazing this is, but I’d just be listing synonyms of “mind-blowing,” which is not particularly interesting to read. So instead, just read the recipe and make it immediately. Adapted from Ina Garten's recipe.
2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, diced
3 ounces pancetta, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
6-7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the peeled, seeded, and chopped squash on a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix to coat the squash with oil and seasonings. Roast for about 30 minutes (maybe more), tossing at least once, until very tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large pot on medium heat melt the butter and add the shallots and pancetta. Cook until shallots are translucent, but not brown. Add the rice and stir, coating each piece with the butter, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Add the saffron with 1 cup of broth (keep it heated, either on the stove or in the microwave) and stir until absorbed. Keep adding the broth, 1 ladle at a time, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed and the rice is “al dente.”
Add the butternut squash and parmesan. Stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!