This dish screams fall. While it hasn't been very cold here, we were still craving a hearty dinner showcasing some fall veggies. The squash and pancetta combination gives you that ideal sweet and savory taste that makes the time it takes to make risotto in the first place, worth it. Yes, there is a lot of stirring but this is where you can enlist a child over ten or a husband to get in the game and help out. Creamy, salty, sweet, delicious.
Acorn Squash Risotto with Pancetta
1 small yellow onion, diced
5 slices of pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ cups or Campanini or Arborio Rice
2 cups peeled and diced acorn squash
½ cup white wine
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt plus more salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
Place stock in a pan and warm.
In a Dutch oven or deep pot brown the pancetta then remove. Add olive oil, onions and 1 teaspoon of salt and sauté on medium heat until softened, about five minutes. Add squash and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, and then add one ladle of warm stock and cover for about 5 minutes until the bottom of the pot is dry again.
Add the rice and stir, toasting the rice for about 2minutes. Then, add the wine and stir until liquid is absorbed. Then, continue adding one or two ladles of stock in at time, stirring continuously only adding the next one when all the liquid has been absorbed.
After about 20 minutes rice should be done, there will be no more bite left in the rice, tender. If you run out of stock and rice still needs more time add a little warm water and continue stirring.
When rice is cooked stir in half of the cheese and the pancetta and then serve with the remaining cheese and parsley sprinkled on top.