Monday, October 18, 2010

(Almost) Another Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Risotto

Roasted butternut squash risotto with sugared walnuts was one of the best meatless dishes we’ve had in awhile. Well, almost meatless…there is a little pancetta in the recipe for flavor. However, you could leave it out and add a different savory seasoning for a similar taste. This is the kind of dish you love to have cooking when friends just happen to stop by for dinner. That is, if you don’t mind sharing….


  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon thyme or 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
So first, you toast the walnuts in the oven for a few minutes. Then drizzle with a little warm butter, toss in brown sugar and a sprinkle of pepper. I had to kick my kids out of the kitchen just so they wouldn't eat them all!
Then peel and cut up the squash, toss with a bit of olive oil, and roast until tender. While the squash is roasting you can bring your chicken broth to a boil, chop onion and pancetta, and heat a large saucepan.
Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with cheese and nuts.
So good!

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