Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto With Sugared Walnuts
Time 1 hour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon butter, melted (I used goat butter)
1 teaspoon brown or date sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 (or more - I'd use more next time) cups peeled butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
4 lower-sodium chicken broth (I used regular this time around, and it ended up being just a tad salty)
1/2 cup water
1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup chardonnay (the rest of the bottle went nicely with dinner!)
1 1/2 tablespoons thyme (leaves only - this took some time) plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/42cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Balearina aged goat gouda (great substitute for P-R if you don't do cow dairy!)
How to make it
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Arrange nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Place nuts in a bowl. Drizzle butter over warm nuts; sprinkle with sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss well to coat. Keep warm.
3. Combine squash and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, tossing to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on cookie sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from pan; stir in garlic. Set aside but keep warm.
4. Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
5. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
6. Serve in 4 individual bowls and top with cheese, nuts and a quarter rotisserie chicken (or duck!).