Thursday, January 24, 2008

Butternut Squash Risotto

My husband hates Ina Garten. Every time I have her show on, he does this great impression of her. He thinks she only lives to serve her husband Jeffrey, while he's off frequenting strip clubs on his "business trips". Personally I like her, her food looks and tastes great and she seems pretty happy. So, we will disagree about this topic, but I can't help but giggle at the thought of my 6'8" bearded husband with a bobbed brunette wig, gushing about Jeffrey in a falsetto voice.

Ina Garten's Butternut Squash Risotto

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.



IRabbit75 said...

I really do hate Ina Garten, she makes me want to light stuff on fire.

The Risotto was excellent though.

Lillbet said...

This is fab! I had some "meh" risotto the other day and was just thinking I'd like to make some myself. Svera to the rescue! :D

sarah said...

purty. i'll have to adapt a veggie version (doesn't look like it would be hard).. i bet ishaan would love this.

Suzanne said...

sarah, I was actually gonna make a vegetarian version for a couple friends of mine one of these days. I'm sure it would be just as tasty.

Anonymous said...

"Peel the butternut squash" is far easier said than done! Do you have any tips for peeling squash? The risotto looks fantastic. :)

Suzanne said...

Actually, I broke my vegetable peeler peeling the squash! I ended up using a paring knife to peel the rest, which was a pain and probably dangerous. America's Test Kitchen has recommended the OXO brand in the past for being very durable and standing up to tough peels, so I'll probably get one of those as a replacement.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same about Jefferey.
I love Ina Garten, and good for her if she's happy, and hey, she looks like she has a great life. But whenever Jefferey is on the show, I cringe. He so patronizing.

I'd bet money he's got a hot little number on the side.

I just hope when Ina finds out about it, she'll serve him his favorite chicken dinner meal in his lap.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne, sorry about your peeling troubles, but I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who has such a hard time with squash. Thanks for the tip about OXO - I just at it on Amazon and it looks very durable.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne - you ROCK! Thanks for the add, girl. Just a quick glance at your blog and I can tell we have much in common! You had me at the Tamale Casserole:) And now - BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO? Come on. This sounds amazing. And re: your previous poster's hilarious comment about Ina Garten, at least she doesn't use a bad Italian accent to say "ree-ZO-toh" like Giada de Laurentiis. URGH. That woman!

Anonymous said...

OH - I feel the need to share this given how deadly those butternut squash can be: Have you all tried roasting it first? Just cut the ends off and then whack it in half. Scoop out the seeds and rub the flesh with a little olive oil. Roast it in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350. THEN peel and chop it into smaller pieces. I've been doing this with Acorn Squash and it's worked out amazingly well. Raw squash is dangerous!

Suzanne said...

LOL, Scarlett! I always cringe when she says spaghetti too!

Alejandra said...

LOL! I love this, it looks incredible. And I completely echo your husband's sentiments about Ina and Jeffrey. So much so that I actually googled him to see why he's always away while she's inviting random groups of sommeliers and cheesemakers to hang out at her Hampton's house. I think she only befriends people who can give her things to cook with. "My friend Daniel owns a fabulous cheese shop" "My friend Tomazo grows incredible berries."

Anonymous said...

I just use the already cubed squash from Trader Joes or (if they have it in stock) Costco....