Monday, February 7, 2011

Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash recipe

This past week I tried a new dish for us- a risotto. Although I'm sure it wasn't a 'true' risotto due to the manner in which I made it(with leftovers) the dish still turned out tasty and even earned a 'It's yummy!' from one of my daughter's 3yr old friends. 

Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash
serves 4-6, prep 10min, cook 40min


  • butternut squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on asheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

Now you might be wondering how I made this with leftovers. The previous weekend while at the farm, we made a chicken korma and saffron rice. My mom got a little overzealous with the rice, so I came home with a tub of it. I wasn't familiar with what to do with saffron rice, so I googled it! And found this recipe. Which was perfect as I also have/had 2 dozen butternut squash in the basement that needed used. We've found a few tasty squash recipes but were needing a new one; this worked out great. 

Basically I did the onion and garlic in the dutch oven, added my already cooked rice and warmed it up. Then added chicken stock(a cup and a half) and a 1/4cup leftover heavy whipping cream I had in the fridge. I've no idea if that was a good idea or not. But it turned out well despite that potential error! Added already roasted butternut squash, spices and stirred it in. Topped with parm and bacon as I couldn't find pancetta. 

The key to frugal cooking is being creative with what you have and experimenting!


The Trophy Wife said...

We love to eat Saffron rice with Fessen Jun. (Persian stew with chicken, pomegranate juice and walnuts.) It is easy to make and SO good. I think maybe I should get my husband to put it on his blog. ;)

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

Oh please do! What is his blog?(off to check your prof! ;0)

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