Last Friday night we had another nice dinner at home. The day before, Steve and I had gone to Stillwater for lunch and some shopping. One of the places where we went shopping was the little co-op food market in town. It’s a great market, they sell a lot of local and organic foods. So we brought home a bag full of some fun groceries, including some all natural grass-fed beef tenderloin and all natural uncured bacon. Do you see where I’m going with this? Yep, grilled, bacon wrapped beef tenderloin, yum!
Since I knew these steaks were going to be SO delicious, I wanted to make sure I made a side dish that would be equally delicious. I hadn’t made risotto in quite a while and it sounded really good to me. I remembered that I had some roasted squash in the freezer and I also had some pancetta. I thought that would be an excellent combo!
If you’ve never made risotto before, don’t be afraid of it. It’s not hard to make, it just takes a lot of stirring, a little bit of patience and you end up with this dish that is creamy goodness! So that I could concentrate on the risotto, I put Steve in charge of the steaks and I put Alex in charge of getting some garlic bread ready to go on the grill. I started cooking the risotto at the same time Steve started heating up the grill and by the time the steaks were cooked to perfection, the risotto was ready as well. And I must say, both the steaks and the risotto were fabulous!
So what if you want to make this and you don’t have any roasted squash on hand like I did? I have two options for you. Option one would be to take about two cups of cubed butternut squash, drizzle it with olive oil and roast it in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until it is golden and soft. Option two would be to buy a 16 oz box of frozen squash and use that.
Watch for my post tomorrow to see what you can do with your leftover risotto.
Roasted Squash Risotto
- 2 cups roasted butternut squash, pureed
- 1/4 lb pancetta, in a small dice (I buy it that way at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborrio rice
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup or so grated parmesan
- 1 tbsp sage, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste ( between the pancetta and parmesan you shouldn’t need much salt)
Puree the squash (if you’re using a box of frozen, you’re good to go). I used an immersion blender, but you could also use a regular blender or food processor.
Put chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Chop veggies and herbs, set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and saute until crispy. Remove from pan. Saute onion in drippings for about five minutes until translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute until garlic is fragrant. Add rice and saute for another couple of minutes.
Add wine to the pan. Stir continuously until almost all of the wine is absorbed.
Start adding the chicken stock, one ladle at a time. Continue stirring and add another ladle every time most of the previous ladle has been absorbed.
Once the last ladle of stock has been incorporated, stir in the squash. Stir for a few minutes until some of the squash has been absorbed.
Stir in pancetta, parmesan and sage. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
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