- 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup of shiitake bacon
- 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups.
- Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.
- Slice the shiitake mushrooms, toss with 3T olive oil, 1t salt, 1/2t pepper. Place on a sheet pan and cook for 10 minutes. Stir. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, add 1T olive oil and add the rice and stir to coat the grains with oil. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 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.
- Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total.
- Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes, shiitake bacon, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.
Variations & Notes:
Can also bake the risotto in the oven for 45 minutes. See Ina Garten’s easy baked risotto.