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Risotto with butternut squash and pancetta

What do you need?

  • 150g butternut squash
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices of pancetta (or streaky bacon)
  • 3 stalks of thyme
  • 25g butter, plus an extra knob
  • 140g risotto rice 100ml white wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 40g parmesan, plus extra


Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut the squash into cubes. Peel the onion and garlic, finely slice the onion and chop the garlic into pieces. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the pancetta slices for a few minutes until crisp. Remove the pancetta from the pan (do not clean the frying pan yet), let drain on kitchen paper and then tear into small pieces.

Put the frying pan back on the heat, add the thyme and squash and sauté until the squash is golden brown. Add a dash of water, lower the heat and cook until the squash is tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Put a clean pan on the heat, add the butter and let it melt. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add the rice and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook until absorbed, stirring occasionally. Crumble the stock cubes over the rice, add 2 ladles of boiling water and let the rice absorb the liquid, stirring regularly. Continue to add ladles of boiling water until the rice is almost tender.

Stir in the squash and most of the pancetta. Turn off the heat, grate the parmesan over the risotto and stir in along with a generous knob of butter. Cover the risotto and let stand for 2 minutes. Season the squash risotto to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with the rest of the pancetta, some grated parmesan and the thyme and serve immediately.