I'm sorry I'm late again! And on top of that, I've changed A LOT of things about this week's BB recipe. Instead of using butternut squash I used about 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree. Why? Because I'm a culinary visionary? No. Because I had some leftover from the pumpkin cream cheese muffins below. To me, butternut squash puree and pumpkin puree are pretty similar so I figured what the hey. I also used some leftover bacon slices instead of pancetta - again, because it was there. And thirdly, I had leftover fresh sage leaves from my Platinum Chef Challenge recipes so instead of spending $17 (YES - THAT IS NOT A MISPRINT! 17 )(*#^$&%%@ dollars for four sprigs of saffron at the grocery store. I'm all about the exotic spices and I completely appreciate the crocus's sacrifice but honestly, $17! Really? Not to mention, I am not really a big fan of the taste of saffron. It's a bit mothbally to me, if that makes sense. There is something off about the taste.)
I used tons of chopped fresh sage instead.
I also served my risotto with bacon-wrapped shrimp and garnished it with fried sage leaves.
I was very proud of my plating presentation as well, if I may say so myself. And for that, I will say I am a culinary GENIUS! MUahahahahahhaaaaa (that's my gloating chef laugh). Obviously I'm being completely sarcastic here. Anyway, here's the original recipe below. But give it a try with the substitions. My husband, who has sworn off rice for life since his mother fed it to him with every meal as a child, loved this risotto. Enjoy!
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.
For the bacon-wrapped shrimp I simply wrapped each large shrimp in a half a piece of bacon and then cooked them in a dry skillet until the bacon was crisp.