Every time I make risotto (which is rarely), I wonder why I don’t make it more often. It makes a great weeknight comfort food while still being sophisticated. I love the hint of sweetness from the squash paired with the smoky bacon. I used maple bacon, which seemed to compliment it particularly well. It was a perfect mixture of fall flavours. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to bacon, I would give try turkey bacon a try. That’s what I would normally use, but I just happened to have real bacon this time that was left over from a previous brunch. The original recipe called for sage, which I omitted only because I didn’t have any sage handy. I’m sure it would taste delicious in this as well, but I thought it held up well without it. So what did the kids think? Well, they liked the bacon. That was it. They literally picked out all the individual bits of bacon and left everything else. It was such a shame, but at least there was more for me.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon
Adapted from Fine Cooking
4 cups (or more) low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced onions
2 cups diced butternut squash
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
4 slices cooked maple bacon
salt, to taste
Grated parmesan cheese
In a small saucepan, combine 4 cups of broth and white wine. Set over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about a minute until softened. Add butternut squash and rice, then cook and stir for another minute. With a ladle, pour some of the hot broth over the rice until just covered. Cook and stir often, adding more ladlefuls of broth as needed. Continue for about 25 mintues until rice has cooked through. If you run out of broth and wine mixture and still need more liquid, just add more broth or water. Crumble the bacon and mix into the risotto. Season with salt to taste if desired. Serve with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.