Happy Monday, friends! To be honest, I can’t believe we’re already back at Monday – this weekend was so jam-packed! Adam left for San Diego with his family yesterday, so we really tried to spend as much time together as possible. We celebrated our friends’ birthday on Friday and hung out pretty much all day Saturday. Once he left for the airport yesterday, I got my booty to Arms & Abs and Flywheel classes before heading to the suburbs to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. I told you – jam packed!
But as we enter into the last week before Christmas, I’m weirdly calm about everything I have to get done. The most important things will get accomplished… and the rest can wait until after the celebrations, right?! I think I’m just so excited to chill out at home and cook with my family. So much so that there are 2 other holiday food posts comin’ at ya this week!
To kick off the holiday deliciousness, I thought I’d show you guys another recipe from my feature in Midwest Living Magazine! You can read more about the collab in this post, but all you really need to know is that amazing midwesterners submitted recipes, I chose the winners, and this Butternut Squash Risotto was one of them! Turns out, this recipe was originally by fellow Chicago blogger/photographer, Regan Baroni of Up Close & Tasty!
I’m a big fan of any risotto, so I was excited to try it with this flavor combo. Butternut squash and sage are just a match made in heaven – but add salty pancetta and it’s even BETTER. Yum yum yum!
Now I know I said the pancetta is amazing in this dish, but the flavors are still SO GOOD without it. If you’re watching your weight, or feeding vegetarians, just leave it out! This dish is totally customizable, which makes it the PERFECT side dish for Christmas Dinner 😋
Top the risotto with crispy sage for the perfect finish!
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta, diced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2-pound cubed butternut squash
- 8 sage leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a small bowl.
- Add the squash and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 16 minutes (add a little water, steam with cover to soften quicker). Add the sage, season with salt and pepper and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the squash to a small bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
- In a large saucepan, melt 1.5 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed.
- Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until absorbed. Continue adding the stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, and stirring constantly until it is nearly absorbed before adding more. The risotto is done when the rice is just tender and the liquid is creamy, about 20 minutes.
- Stir the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter and the 1/2 cup of Parmesan into the risotto. Gently fold in the squash. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan, crispy pancetta, serve and enjoy!