Squash, sage and pancetta risotto

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pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner

This sage, butternut squash and pancetta risotto is rich, creamy and full of flavour. The smooth butternut squash pieces work great with the crispy pancetta cubes to make this a very tasty little dish.
 
This recipe works well for family dinners. If you make up a big batch of it you can keep some in the fridge overnight. That way the next day you can turn the leftover risotto into tasty little arancini rice balls in just a few minutes! You can find our arancini rice balls recipe here.

 

Summary

Prep: 30 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Ages: Toddlers to Teens
Difficulty: Intermediate
Makes: 2 bowls risotto

How to make butternut squash risotto?

The first step when making this risotto is to roast the butternut squash in the oven. This softens it and releases the juicy sweet flavours.

The cooked squash is then chopped and ready to be used in the risotto, together with sage, stock and the other ingredients.

The risotto itself is cooked by following a few classic steps. First the onions and garlic are sauteed in butter.

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner

Then the herbs go in, followed by the Arborio rice (a special rice for use particularly in risottos). You want to stir the rice constantly so that it’s coated in the butter. After that you can add the squash and sage, and pour in the vegetable or chicken stock gradually and bring it to the boil.

Risottos need about 15-20 minutes of simmering and during this time it’s advised to keep stirring to stop it going clumpy and sticky.

After that you’ll have a delicious, warm Italian dish!

Ingredients

For the roasted butternut squash:

  • ¼ large butternut squash
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the risotto:

  • Roast squash (see above)
  • 100 grams arborio rice
  • 20 grams grated parmesan
  • ½ bunch fresh sage (10 grams)
  • ¼ large onion or 1 shallot
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 400mls warm chicken or vegetable stock
  • 20 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 77 grams pancetta cubes

 

Instructions

Roast the butternut squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squash into slices and place in a bowl.
  3. Add the olive oil, some salt and pepper and mix until coated.
  4. Lay the pieces out on an oven dish so that each piece has its own space.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden and soft throughout.

Make the risotto

  1. Warm the chicken or vegetable stock in a saucepan. Set aside.
  2. In a frying pan add half the butter (10 grams) and melt on a low heat.
  3. Add in the diced onion or shallot, the crushed garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes until softened.
  4. Add in the chopped sage leaves and stir.
  5. Add in the other half of the butter (10 grams) and melt. Then stir in the Arborio rice and stir it constantly until it’s coated with the butter.
  6. Chop the roasted butternut squash pieces into cubes and stir them into the risotto.
  7. Add 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.
  8. Add in a ladle of the warm stock to the pan and bring to the boil.
  9. Keep stirring and adding stock a ladle at a time as the liquid simmers 10-15 minutes. You want the rice to be cooked through but still slightly al-dente.
  10. In a separate pan add 1 teaspoon olive oil and cook the pancetta cubes on a low heat until crispy.
  11. Stir the crispy pancetta cubes and grated parmesan into the risotto just before serving. Enjoy this tasty family meal!

Squash and pancetta risotto – our step by step guide:

1

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
1

Prepare the butternut squash

Preheat the oven to 180℃.

Peel and chop your butternut squash.

Put your butternut squash slices into a small bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss everything with a spoon to evenly coat the butternut squash.

2

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
2

Roast the butternut squash

Spread your butternut squash evenly on a baking tray. Make sure that each piece has its own space.

Put your tray in the oven and bake the squash for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through.

You want the pieces to be golden and soft throughout.

When they’ve cooled cut them into cubes so that they’re ready to use in the risotto.

3

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
3

Warm your chicken or vegetable stock

If using ready liquid stock then simply warm 400 mls of stock in a saucepan.

If you’re using low sodium stock cubes then add the cube to a saucepan along with 400 mls water and warm on the hob over a low heat.

4

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
4

Cook the onion and garlic

Chop your onion and mince your garlic.

Heat a half of your butter (10 grams) in a medium sized frying pan and saute your onions and garlic over very low heat for about a minute.

5

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
5

Add the sage leaves

Add your chopped sage to the pan and give everything a good stir.

6

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
6

Add the rice

Put the other half of your butter (10 grams) into the pan and melt.

Add in your arborio rice.

Move it all around with a wooden spoon to ensure that the rice is evenly coated in the butter.

7

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
7

Add in your butternut squash

If you haven’t already, take your cooked butternut squash slices and chop into cubes.

Add them to the risotto in the frying pan and stir gently.

8

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
8

Add the stock a ladel at a time

Add a ladel of the warm stock to the risotto and stir.

Keep stirring until the liquid is absorbed and add another ladel of stock.

Repeat this until all the stock has gone and the rice should be cooked through but still slightly al-dente (not mushy).

If you need to add an extra ladel of warm water or warm stock as needed.

It should take 15 minutes for the rice to cook and the risotto to be ready.

9

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
9

Cook the pancetta

When the risotto is ready, take a frying pan.

Add a bit of olive oil and fry your pancetta cubes until they’re crispy.

10

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner
10

Stir in the pancetta cubes and the grated parmesan

Once your risotto is ready, stir in the cooked pancetta cubes and the grated parmesan cheese.

 

Enjoy this delicious squash and pancetta risotto for your next family dinner!

 

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner

 

For another great risotto recipe take a look at our Leftover chicken risotto or our No-stir salmon and pea risotto.

 

pancetta risotto - make this butternut squash and pancetta risotto for a creamy and delicious family dinner

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5 from 2 votes

Squash and pancetta risotto

This sage, butternut squash and pancetta risotto is rich, creamy and full of flavour. The crispy pancetta cubes add some crunch and saltiness to this tasty dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pancetta risotto, risotto, squash risotto
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 bowls
Author Mas & Pas

Ingredients

Roasted butternut squash

  • ¼ large butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Risotto

  • Roast squash (see previous step) cubed
  • 100 grams Arborio rice
  • 20 grams Parmesan grated
  • ½ bunch fresh sage leaves (10 grams)
  • ¼ large onion diced
  • ½ garlic clove minced
  • 400 mls chicken or vegetable stock warm
  • 20 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 77 grams pancetta cubes

Instructions

Roast butternut squash

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Peel and chop the butternut squash into slices and place in a bowl.
  • Add the olive oil, some salt and pepper and mix until coated.
  • Lay the pieces out on an oven dish so that each piece has its own space.
  • Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden and soft throughout.

Make the risotto

  • Warm the chicken or vegetable stock in a saucepan. Set aside.
  • In a frying pan add half the butter (10 grams) and melt on a low heat.
  • Add in the diced onion or shallot, the crushed garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes until softened.
  • Add in the chopped sage leaves and stir.
  • Add in the other half of the butter (10 grams) and melt. Then stir in the Arborio rice and stir it constantly until it’s coated with the butter.
  • Chop the roasted butternut squash pieces into cubes and stir them into the risotto.
  • Add 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.
  • Add in a ladle of the warm stock to the pan and bring to the boil.
  • Keep stirring and adding stock a ladle at a time as the liquid simmers 10-15 minutes. You want the rice to be cooked through but still slightly al-dente.
  • In a separate pan add 1 teaspoon olive oil and cook the pancetta cubes on a low heat until crispy.
  • Stir the crispy pancetta cubes and grated parmesan into the risotto just before serving. Enjoy this tasty family meal!