Roasted butternut squash and crispy bacon are paired with creamy risotto to create one ridiculously delicious dish!
I used to be intimidated by risotto and I think many others are, too. People have often said that they only eat it in restaurants because they can't make it at home. That stops today! Risotto is very easy, it just takes some time and a little patience. And your family will be so impressed!
Winter squash is so tasty and butternut is probably my favorite. When roasted and pureed in a risotto, it's practically magical. And then add bacon? You'll be licking the bowl.
Easy enough for a weeknight, fancy enough for company.
Bacon & Butternut Squash Risotto
2.5 cups diced butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Honey, for drizzling
8 slices thick cut bacon, diced
4 cups chicken stock + 2 cups water
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1.5 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400.
Place squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer half of the squash to a food processor and puree with a little water or stock. Set aside both the pureed squash and the remaining roasted squash.
While the squash roasts, heat stock and water in a saucepot over medium-low heat.
In a deep pan, or a dutch oven, cook diced bacon until crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease.
Add the onions and garlic to the grease and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan wtih a wooden spoon unitl the wine evaporates. Add the rice and toast, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Add a few ladles of the warm stock/water to the rice and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed. When the rice looks almost dry, add another few ladles of stock. Repeat until the rice is creamy and al dente. It should take 18-20 minutes total and may not use all the reserved stock.
Stir in the squash puree, bacon, and Parmesan. Taste for seasoning. Serve in shallow bowls with reserved roasted squash and additional grated cheese over top.
Source: adapted from Rachael Ray