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Barefoot! Butternut Squash Risotto

October 9, 2008

Finally, Fall has arrived in Kansas and it looks like it’s going to stick around for a while.  The leaves have started to change, apples are being bought by the bushel (by yours truly) and pumpkins are adorning doorsteps.

Yesterday, after a hard day for The Husband and I, we were looking for something warm and comforting for dinner.  This week’s Barefoot recipe is courtesy of Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook.  Rachel delivered beautifully in picking this recipe.  Dedicated lovers to risotto in the Cat House, we were excited to give it a try.  I served it with Cat’s Parmesan Chicken and it was the perfect meal to comfort us.  In fact, it was so good The (usually quiet) Husband said, “Wow, this is good… really good” three times!

The only change I made (besides halving the recipe for just The Husband and I) was to swap cinnamon for the saffron, it added just the perfect accent in the risotto to make it a fall favorite from here on out.

Butternut Squash Risotto*
Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 c chicken stock
6 T butter
2 oz pancetta, diced
1/2 c minced shallots (I used purple onion)
1 1/2 c Arborio rice
1/2 c dry white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
1 t saffron threads (again, I used 1 t cinnamon) 
1 c freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel, seed and dice the butternut squash into 3/4″ pieces.  Place on a sheet pan and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender.  

Heat chicken stock over low heat.  Keep on low.  

In a heavy bottomed pot, melt butter over medium low heat (I generally keep it on the more medium than low side).  Saute the onions and pancetta until tender.  

Add rice and stir to coat the rice with butter.  Usually, I’ll toast the rice for a few minutes like this before I add the wine, I think it helps the rice to absorb more liquid quicker.  Add wine and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 2 full ladles of chicken stock and the cinnamon, lightly salt and pepper.  Stir, stir and stir some more until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.  Add another ladle full of chicken stock and continue stirring until the liquid absorbs… keep repeating until you use all of the chicken stock.  This should take about 20 minutes… but make sure you take a taste before turning the heat down… I’ve not done this once and crunchy rice is totally not appealing.  

Remove from heat, add parmesan and roasted squash.  Serve warm.  

In other good news… I’ve been given an award!  Christine of Blender’s Galore gave me an I Love You This Much Award!  Christine participates in Operation Baking GALS each month and is incredibly sweet and talented blogger and I am honored that she thought of me.  Hopefully (fingers crossed) she’ll be baking for The Brother (aka The Hotty) in the next round!  

Thanks Christine!  I’m passing it along to a couple of my other favorite bloggers that I occasionally stalk… but in a good way!

Andrea of Nummy Kitchen (my partner in Operation Be Hot Again that I have shamefully neglected the last week!)
Brenda of Webbie’s World 
Kirsten of Black Lab Baker
Summer of (sexy) Apartment
and Donna of Spatulas, Corkscrews and Suitcases (another OBG blogger!)

22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2008 07:26

    I agree.

    This was so comforting.

    I love your pink spatula.

  2. October 9, 2008 08:00

    Congrats on your award. Wow-you got three positive affirmations on this dish! I loved it too.

  3. October 9, 2008 08:01

    Thanks so much!
    I love you too!

    I haven’t made my risotto yet. I’m out of town and away from my galley for 11 days, and after hosting OBG last month, I’m a little behind getting to everything else.

    But Thanks! You made my day!

  4. October 9, 2008 09:52

    Very snazzy serving bowl! Looks delicious!

    And congrats on your deserved award!

  5. October 9, 2008 14:09

    I like the addition of cinnamon to the risotto, so I will try that next time.

    My daughter and son-in-law just moved to Lincoln, NE. He is in the ANG and going to the university; he used to be Air Force EOD, so I totally understand about worrying! My daughter is a former Marine, and my dad was Navy all the way, so it’s in the blood.

  6. October 9, 2008 14:13

    Looks delicious, we loved this recipe too. I bet the cinnamon was delish! Your bowl is cute too. Congrats on your award and thank for passing it along, I’m honored!

  7. October 9, 2008 15:44

    Yummy…cinnamon sounds like a perfect swap! As far as the acorn squash goes…the best way for me is to cut them in half, seed them, and throw them in a pan (cut side down) in about an inch of water and bake. Once soft, flip them over, throw some walnuts, butter, and brown sugar in the middle, and bake until everything is melty and yummy. Let me know if you try it!

  8. October 9, 2008 15:57

    Congrats on your award!
    I think cinnamon is a great sub for this risotto, even a few chunks of apple……
    Cheers 🙂

  9. October 9, 2008 16:44

    Looks yummy- love the step by step photos and comments. The cinnamon sounds like a great substition!

  10. October 9, 2008 21:25

    I am glad that you loved this as much as we did! This one is definitely a keeper for us. Yours looks perfect! Is that a pink spatula I see in one of your pictures?? Oh, I want one!

  11. October 9, 2008 21:57

    Great pictures! Your risotto looks yummy!

  12. October 10, 2008 01:34

    Your risotto looks great–love the dish. I bet the cinnamon was delicious in it!

  13. October 10, 2008 05:45

    I will have to try the risotto with cinnamon – looks fantastic – and congratulations on a well-deserved award.

  14. October 10, 2008 13:14

    Your risotto looks perfect and the cinnamon sounds wonderful! I hope it’s a wonderful Fall- my favorite time of year. (I’m still out of town but will be back soon… I’m ready to cook my own food again!)

  15. October 10, 2008 16:58

    Cinnamon!! I love it. You’re right, this was such a comforting dish which was perfect for a chilly day before it got super duper hot again! Congratulations on the award!

  16. October 11, 2008 07:59

    Hmm, I really like the cinnamon idea. Might have to try that next time.

    Thanks for the comments you’ve made on my blog, I appreciate it!

  17. October 11, 2008 12:23

    What a great idea to use cinnamon! That sounds delicious.

  18. October 11, 2008 21:19

    your risotto came out great. i might rethink trying the recipe out again…using cinnamon. what a great idea! i see you’re a military wife too….now i’m a fan of yours!

  19. October 12, 2008 13:10

    I love your serving dish! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  20. October 12, 2008 16:55

    Loved your serving dish. I like that you used cinnamon instead of saffron! Sounds delicious. 🙂

  21. October 14, 2008 06:12

    Cinnamon was definitely an inspired choice. I love its autumny fragrance. Congratulations on your award. It’s always nice to know that there are people who read and appreciate what you do!

  22. October 20, 2008 17:54

    I agree great comfort food. Something I could enjoy 24/7! I will sign up to bake this month if it is not to late, sorry things got really busy around here!

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