Roasted Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 small sugar pumpkin, cut in half and seeds scooped out
- 1 small butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise into 1” thick wedges, seeds scooped out
- extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup Red Thread Wine Chardonnay
- kosher salt
- 3 tbsps fresh sage, roughly minced (reserve 1 tablespoon for pancetta)
- 2 tsps fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta or 2 strips of smoked bacon, diced
- grated parmesan cheese to serve
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Cut the pumpkin in half, scooping out the stringy bits and seeds.
Peel the butternut squash and then cut it lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds and continue to cut the squash into roughly 1” thick wedges.
Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a large roasting tray. Nestle the butternut wedges on the same roasting tray. Liberally drizzle the wedges and the interior of the pumpkins with olive oil—season with a pinch of kosher salt.
Roast the pumpkin and butternut squash for 45 minutes until the flesh and skin are soft and tender when pierced with a knife. Turn the wedges occasionally to ensure even browning.
Meanwhile, prepare the remainder of the risotto ingredients by heating the stock to a low simmer.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and the diced onions to a large 10”-12” sauté pan over medium-low heat. Sauté the onions until soft and translucent but not browned, about 15 minutes.
Once the pumpkin and butternut squash are roasted and cool enough to handle, scoop out the cooked flesh of the pumpkin and lightly mash it up with the butternut wedges with a fork until they are slightly mushy and chunky. It should equal roughly 2 cups mashed.
Add the garlic and rice to the pan. Stir the rice as it begins to crackle and fry in the pan. Pour in the wine and stir the rice until the alcohol smell begins to burn off. It should smell fragrant, and the rice will look slightly translucent. Add a good pinch of kosher salt and lower the heat to a simmer.
Add the mashed pumpkin and butternut squash to the pan, fully incorporating them into the rice. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh sage, thyme leaves, and rosemary.
Add one cup of hot stock to the rice and allow it to boil down, frequently stirring with a wooden spoon.
Once the rice has absorbed the first cup, continue to add one cup of stock at a time, in the same manner, frequently stirring as the rice continues to cook. Each cup takes about 12-15 minutes to absorb. Add the remaining 6 cups until the rice is soft but “al dente” with a slight bite. If it is still a bit chewy, continue to add a little more stock as needed.
While the rice is cooking, add the diced pancetta to a small sauté pan over medium and stir occasionally. Once the pancetta’s fat is nearly rendered, add the remaining minced tablespoon of sage and cook until they both are nice and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside until serving.
When the last cup of stock is nearly absorbed in the rice, add a tablespoon of salted butter to the pan and cover the risotto until the butter is fully melted. Stir in the melted butter and give it a taste. This will make the risotto extra creamy. You can skip this step if you prefer. Season with additional salt if necessary.
To serve, add a sprinkling of the crisp sage and pancetta mixture and a generous grating of fresh parmesan cheese over each bowl. You can also add an optional drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the dish. Serve immediately with a glass of Red Thread Wine Chardonnay, and enjoy!