Butternut Squash Risotto


  • 1 butternut squash (2 lbs)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz pancetta, diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp saffron (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel squash, remove seeds, cut into 3/4 in cubes. Place on sheet pan and toss with olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (we like to add sage or thyme on a whim).  Roast for 25 – 30 min, tossing once, until tender.  Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the stock, place on low to simmer.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta (optional) and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until 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.
  5. Add 2 full ladles of stock plus the saffron (if using).  Stir and simmer until stock is absorbed (about 5 – 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 and continue stirring.  Do this until all the stock has been absorbed (rice should be cooked through but still al dente)
  6. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

from Barefoot Contessa: Family Style, by Ina Garten, pg 86