Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto topped with salty Pancetta and Crispy Brussels Sprouts. This labor of love is worth every single minute!

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts | Fabtastic Eats Can you even believe that it’s already the end of October? As in, exactly one week left. We weren’t planning on going back to visit our families for the holidays this year. Since it’s only been a year since we left, and we were there last December, but the closer they get, the more I want to go, even if it’s early on.

I mentioned to my husband that I might take the kids and go right after Halloween. In total honesty, I’m kind of homesick and I miss all of our friends, so it would just be nice to go back for a couple weeks and see everyone, then be back here before Thanksgiving to be with my husband. We’ll see.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts | Fabtastic Eats What do you do for Thanksgiving if you have no family around? It’s just my husband and I and two little babes, so making a huge turkey dinner, kind of sounds like a lot of work for basically two people. I’m thinking of going non-traditional…chinese takeout. Don’t hate. But it kind of sounds nice spending the entire day watching the parade, and football and just lounging. My only nerve is that it could just seem like any other weekend, and I don’t want the holidays to just pass us by without fully appreciating them, they are my favorite time of year after-all!

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts | Fabtastic Eats If I do make a turkey dinner, it won’t be very traditional though, and it will probably include a side of this risotto. Because I am a believer that risotto is worth every single second standing at the stove, stirring. You know what makes it better? A little classic rock and a bottle of wine. I promise, you will enjoy the process, I found it therapeutic, like pie making, and the bluesy sounds, actually wiped any blues away. Silly? Maybe. But I enjoy it.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts | Fabtastic Eats Risotto is a little bit of a labor of love, it’s not a 30 minute meal, but if you’re having an in-home date night, or even if you just want to surprise your significant other with a home-cooked meal, this is the ticket! It sounds kind of fancy, and even though it takes some time, its super easy. And there is so much flavor bursting through this!

Creamy butternut risotto, loaded with salty pancetta and crispy brussels sprouts, this combination of autumn flavors will not disappoint!

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts | Fabtastic Eats

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto topped with salty Pancetta and Crispy Brussels Sprouts. This labor of love is worth every single minute!

Ingredients

  • 2 lb butternut squash
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 ounces pancetta
  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 6-7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese (freshly shredded)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub with 1TB olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place it in the oven on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender.
  3. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes, then scrape the flesh into a food processor, and pulse until smooth. Set aside the puree.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the pancetta until crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve any drippings. Add in the brussels sprouts and cook, tossing frequently to brown all the sides. Reduce heat to low, add the pancetta back in and toss.
  5. Pour your chicken stock into a small saucepan and place on the back burner on medium-low heat.
  6. Heat up 1TB olive oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add in the sliced shallot and saute for 5-10 minutes, until soft and golden. Add in the garlic and rice, and stir for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant and the rice is glossy from the oil.
  7. Increase heat to medium-high, pour in the wine, and stir until the wine evaporates.
  8. Using a ladle, begin adding the chicken stock in approximately 1/2 cup increments, while constantly stirring. When the stock is just about fully evaporated, add more. You don't want the rice to get to dry, but you don't want it to be soupy either. Adjust your heat as you go, between medium and medium-high, while consistently stirring.
  9. Begin tasting the rice after about 30 minutes, you want it to be tender, not mushy, but still slightly firm. This could take as long as 45 minutes. You may or may not use all your stock, but keep it around just in case!
  10. Stir in the nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, and 2 cups of the butternut squash puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve warm, topped with the pancetta and crispy brussels. Enjoy!

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