Monday, October 27, 2008

Autumn Risotto

Here's another Italian dish from my repetoire. Risotto is one of my favorites, probably because of the abundance of parmasan cheese (ask any of my roommates--I'm obsessed with it). And I make a kick-ass risotto. However, this batch was one hitch kick shy of amazing. My theories on the less-than-stellar performance: 1) no meat, sausage or pancetta adds another element of savory, but I didn't have any, 2) I accidentally grabbed vegetable stock instead of chicken stock at the store, and 3) I totally spaced out on adding the sage, so the only seasoning was parmasan cheese, not necessarily a bad thing, just not all it could be. I also made a rookie mistake of confusing butterCUP squash for butterNUT squash. Who named these? (Butternut squash is yellow, buttercup squash like a small, green pumpkin).
Even so-so risotto couldn't ruin my Monday night. My Monday-night ritual involves coming home from work dragging myself outside for a jog (made significantly better by the addition of Coldplay's Viva La Vida to my music collection), after which I cook a something new and then sit down to watch Gossip Girl. It's beautiful.
Squash and Apple Risotto: (adapted from Food & Wine and Giada di Laurentiis)
4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
2 ounces pancetta
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 butternut (or buttercup) squash
1 1/2 cups arborio or short-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used marsala, which is not at all dry, it was alright since a lot of the other ingredients are a bit sweet)
1/2 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup grated parmasan cheese
1 teaspoon dried sage (you could experiment here with other fall-ish herbs/spices, thyme for example)
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan, bring the stock to a boil, reduce heat to low while sauteing the vegetables and rice. In another sauce pan, melt the butter and saute the pancetta, onion and squash until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oils. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Ladle in 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the rice mixture and stir until stock is almost absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock. I added the apple about halfway through. The rice should be creamy and tender to the bite. Take off heat and add cheese, sage (or other herbs), and salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Your making stuff I've never even tried. The pictures look great.

Maria said...

That looks so good! I'm going to make that soon. I've never made risotto. Actually, I don't remember ever trying it, to be honest.

We Are Never Full said...

risotto is a big fave of mine too. it's totally versatile and, you're right, is cheesy, creamy and fabulous!

lindsey baker said...

i think that no-fuss risotto sounds delicious (and looks it). i am jealous of that eating, jealous i say!

also, i am lovin' on the new blog design.

Jess said...

this sounds wonderful! i'm writing it down to try out soon.
question - instead of pancetta (i'm poor and have bacon already in the fridge) i'll use bacon - should i trim it more, or make any changes to make it more similar?

Lainey Seyler said...

yes, definitely use bacon. you could trim it if you want to, but i think the fat adds a lot of flavor as well. pancetta is NOT a light meat either.