Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto with Spiced Butter
- Spiced Butter:
- 4 cloves garlic, roasted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped chervil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped marjoram leaves
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground ginger
- Butternut Squash:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound squash, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 5 cups chicken stock, recipe follows
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 pound pancetta, small dice
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup white wine
For the butter: In a bowl, crush the roasted garlic with a spoon. Mix in the butter, chervil, marjoram, ground cinnamon, and ginger and set aside.
For the butternut squash: In large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the squash and season with salt. Cook for 6 minutes until golden on all sides. Add brown sugar and cook until the squash is caramelized and tender, but not mushy. Set aside and keep warm.
For the risotto: Bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan add the pancetta and saute until lightly browned. Add the shallots, stirring until softened.
Pour in the arborio rice, sage and thyme cook for 4 minutes, stirring until well coated.
Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, simmer until mostly absorbed.
Add the hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed by the rice. Continue to add stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to release the starch. Check rice for doneness after 18 minutes, rice should be al dente but cooked through.
Stir in Italian parsley, kosher salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the spiced butter.
Gently fold in the squash. Serve immediately.Chicken Stock:
5 pounds chicken bones, rinsed well
20 cups cold water
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 stalk leek, cleaned, sliced into 2-inch pieces
3 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Place the chicken bones in a stock pot and cover with the cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming the fat and foam from the surface of the stock.
Cool slightly and strain the stock into a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.
Yield: 16 cups
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours