Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Butternut Squash and Shrimp Risotto

This is a meal I’ve made before, and thanks to autumn finally arriving and butternut squash being on sale, I decided it would be fun to make it again. After having made it by the recipe the first time around, I decided it might be fun to tweak with it a little bit this time. After peeling the shrimp, I put all the shells into the vegetable broth and simmered that for about 30 minutes to infuse some of the shrimp flavor into the broth before using. I used about half of a 187ml bottle of pinot grigio wine (approximately equal to six-seven tablespoons) in my pot with the rice first, before adding any of my broth to get a little more flavor into the rice as it cooked. I ended up not even replacing the liquid in the recipe for the wine, I just added it in addition to the four cups of broth, and it still turned out fine.

One of the nice things about this dish is that it is not as fussy as a classic risotto. Yes, you do have to stand next to it a stir it nearly the entire time it cooks, but you don’t have to mess with adding the liquid in increments – just pour it all in at once and stir. Even better? It’s a one-pot meal. Cleanup was a breeze, which is especially nice when you have company and want something delicious for dinner, but don’t want to spend the rest of the evening cleaning up afterwards.

I served this risotto with crusty Italian bread and a dish with olive oil, parmesan and pepper for dipping, as well as a green salad.

(And don't forget to save the seeds from your squash to make Toasted Butternut Squash Seeds!)

Butternut Squash Risotto with Shrimp

Adapted From Bon Appetit

6 servings

3 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
1 pound large uncooked deveined peeled shrimp, with shells set aside (if available)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup short-grain rice (such as arborio or carnaroli)
4 cups vegetable broth, heated in microwave
½ c Dry White Wine
1 1-pound package peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
If you have your shrimp shells, put them in a both with your broth and let them simmer over low to medium-low heat for 20 minutes or so.

Sauté pancetta in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until fat renders and pancetta is browned and almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to medium bowl.

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; add to saucepan. Sauté until browned and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Add to bowl with pancetta.

Add oil to same saucepan, then onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until mostly absorbed. Add hot broth; increase heat and bring to boil.

Add squash and sage; reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is tender but still firm to bite and mixture is creamy, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream, shrimp, and pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to large shallow bowl.

Butternut Squash on Foodista

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