Our butternut squash and pancetta risotto is a tasty side or main with seasonal flavours, that can take you from Thanksgiving to Christmas. For Thanksgiving this year, my family had a potluck at my uncles and I brought this risotto. The flavours of the squash, pancetta, and sage are a winning combination with our traditional turkey dinner. Everyone loved it! With Christmas day near, I’m sure many of you, like myself, are planning for events and dinners, and thinking of what to make. So if you are looking for a really delicious side to accompany one of your meals, I would highly recommend this risotto.
I made this risotto just a few days ago, as I wanted to share it with you. My daughter, like many children loves rice. Making risotto is a great way to sneak in some extra healthy ingredients, as they get well absorbed into its creamy texture. The butternut squash in this recipe cannot be detected from the little ones. I tell my daughter it’s cheesy rice with bacon and she eats it up! This recipe is a win, win for me as it is kid-friendly, yet is also an elegant and tasty dish for the adults. I hope you get a chance to try it!
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 150 g pancetta, diced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash, mashed
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese, shredded, plus more for serving
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small pot add the stock and warm on medium low heat, keeping the stock warm as you continue to make the risotto.
- In a medium sized pot, heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until crisp. Remove from the pot in a separate bowl and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the additional tablespoon of oil, onion, and sage. Saute until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the rice, for about 1 minute.
- Add the wine, and allow it to get mostly absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes.
- Ladle two spoons full of the stock into the rice pot, stirring frequently, and adding more stock (2 ladles full at a time) whenever the rice absorbs most of the liquid. This process will take about 20-30 minutes. You will need to continue to frequently stir and add stock to the pot. Taste the rice while it's cooking, and stop once you have your desired tenderness.
- Once rice is cooked, mix in the butternut squash, the parmesan, and the pancetta. Give it a good stir and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with additional parmesan, and more fresh sage. Enjoy!