I pick up butternut squash from the market almost every week when it’s in season. We just can’t get enough! It does take a few extra minutes to peel and chop up, but it’s definitely worth it – there are so many delicious ways to enjoy it. I recently roasted up some cubed butternut squash and mashed it into a delightful risotto. Apolinaras said it’s the best risotto he’s ever had!
I also added a lovely mix of baby spinach, chard, and kale greens from Trader Joe’s, pancetta, and goat cheese to the risotto, so it was a one pot meal which was really well balanced. This was such a huge hit that we fought over the leftovers!
Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Risotto with Pancetta
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 4-ounce container pancetta
1 5-ounce package greens (I used a mix of baby spinach, chard, and kale from Trader Joe’s)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 large shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
4 ounces goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 400˚F. Place squash on a large baking sheet and drizzle evenly with olive oil. Bake squash for 22-28 minutes at 400˚F or until tender and mash with a fork in a bowl until smooth (I had 2 cups).
Place pancetta in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and sauté for 5 minutes or until crispy. Add greens to the pan and cover; steam for 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted.
Meanwhile, melt butter over medium-high heat in a large stockpot. Sauté the shallots for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the rice and stir until well-coated and translucent, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in 2 cups of chicken stock and the mashed butternut squash. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed; add another cup of stock and continue in this way until all the chicken stock has been absorbed, for about 30 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese and salt and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Stir in cooked pancetta and greens. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 456 calories, 14.1g fat, 6.8g fiber, 18.1g protein per serving
Cost: $2.55 per serving