Butternut Squash Risotto With Pancetta


Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta ~ My husband and I are not big on all the hoopla of candy and roses that are often associated with Valentine’s Day.

Sure, when we were dating I received roses and candy but honestly, $70.00 or $80.00 for a bouquet of roses and $20.00 for a heart-shaped box of chocolates, (which has about 8 chocolates), is not our thing. We would much rather spend that cash on a nice bottle of wine and ingredients for a delicious dinner at home.

Butternut Squash Risotto

We like to cook together and always collaborate to make a nice dinner on Valentine’s Day. We gather our ingredients, open a bottle of wine, put some music on and start peeling, roasting, chopping and sautéing. Before we know it, dinner is ready!

Once we decide on a menu, we just delegate tasks and work together until the meal is prepared. This year for dinner we…(OK, I…lol) decided on something a little different from our usual pasta/meat/potatoes fare.

This year dinner consisted of Chicken Cordon Blue (which I bought fresh, already stuffed), mixed green vegetables and for the main event, butternut squash risotto with pancetta. (I found the recipe on the PC® website and was given permission to use it here.)

For the chicken, we just pan seared the meat in butter and olive oil and finished it in the oven. For the veggies, we sautéed in butter some fresh green beans, a couple big handfuls of spinach and threw in some frozen peas).

The star of the show was the Butternut Squash Risotto With Pancetta which is divinely creamy and the perfect treat. It’s made with tender butternut squash, Parmigiano Reggiano, pumpkin oil and complemented by crisply cooked pancetta.

Butternut Squash Risotto

The delicious chicken aroma when you open the container of chicken broth will make your mouth water.

Butternut Squash Risotto

This was my first time using Pumpkin Seed Oil.  It is a rich dark brown colour; my pan is dark, but you can see the colour of the oil in the little dish behind the pan. It smells and tastes intensely nutty and has a rich toasted pumpkin flavour.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Cook pancetta, turning occasionally, until crisp. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Cool, then crumble.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Add shallots to saucepan and cook until translucent.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Add squash and rice; cook, stirring until rice is translucent. (I found it took about 5 minutes)

Butternut Squash Risotto

Add ½ cup (125 mL) hot broth at as time; cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat. (In hindsight, I didn’t cut my squash quite small enough, so to be sure the squash was cooked, needed to add about 1/2 -3/4 cup more broth than suggested.)

Butternut Squash Risotto

When fully cooked, stir in Parmigiano, salt and pepper.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Scatter crispy pancetta over the risotto, saving some for a garnish.

Butternut Squash Risotto

This was so flavourful, creamy and scrumptious and I will definitely be making this dish again!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Butternut Squash Risotto With Pancetta
  • 3 cups (750 mL) Chicken Broth ( I actually used a little more than this, closer to 4 cups but I think it is because my squash was cut a bit too big)
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) 100% PURE ROASTED PUMPKIN SEED OIL
  • 4 oz (125 g) thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped shallots
  • 2 cups (500 mL) diced butternut squash, ½ inch (1 cm) cubes ( Be sure to cut it to this size so it will cook properly)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) arborio rice
  • ½ cup (125 mL) white wine
  • ½ cup (125 mL) finely grated PARMIGIANO REGGIANO
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  2. In a wide shallow saucepan, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil over medium heat; cook pancetta for 6 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Cool, then crumble.
  3. Add shallots to saucepan; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened.
  4. Add squash and rice; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until rice is translucent.
  5. Stir in white wine; simmer until absorbed, stirring constantly.
  6. Using a ladle, add ½ cup (125 mL) hot broth; cook, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, adding hot stock ½ cup (125 mL) at a time and waiting until liquid is absorbed before adding more stock, for 18 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender with a firm centre and the dish is creamy overall.
  7. Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a simmer.
  8. You may not need to use all of the broth.
  9. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmigiano, salt and pepper.
  10. Serve immediately, drizzled with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil and garnished with pancetta.
Reprinted, with permission.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Do you go out or make a special dinner?

Do you usually give or receive candy and flowers?




  1. Heather Lynne says:

    This just looks so delicious! I often avoid trying meals that aren’t super fast or have only a few steps, but this one looks so good!
    Heather Lynne recently posted…The Ultimate List of 100+ Fun St. Patrick’s Day Ideas!My Profile

  2. paula schuck says:

    I am a big fan of two things here – I love risotto but never know how to make without a boxed product. Also I love the Blue Menu by President’s Choice. In 2014 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and so I am seeking Low sodium foods. DYK that Blue Menu is low sodium?? I hunt for these all the time now.
    paula schuck recently posted…Families Are the Future of Alberta: Public Funding For In Vitro Fertilization Is Efficient #abhc4ivf #abpoliMy Profile

  3. Randa @ TBK says:

    My husband and I don’t really do VDay. Instead I would rather enjoy a nice meal.

    This sounds delicious, I have never tried Butternut Squash yet, this is probably the dish to try it out on :)
    Randa @ TBK recently posted…Monday Funday Linky Party {February 16}My Profile

  4. Bonnie Way says:

    I don’t like flowers, I do like chocolate, but like you, we like having a good bottle of wine and a nice dinner together. This looks scrumptious! We have a butternut squash soup recipe that we like so I’m bookmarking this to try. :) Thanks for sharing!
    Bonnie Way recently posted…Meet Janna Denton-Howes of Growing Marriage.comMy Profile

  5. Oh my this sounds and looks absolutely delicious! The hubby and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day either. We mostly put the kids to bed early, open up some wine and have take out so we don’t have to cook. This year we enjoyed it by making our own Chinese food and spending it with two other couples and all of our kids. It was great.

    I’m definitely pinning this and adding it to my “To Make” list!

  6. Like you, I vetoed the “hearts and flowers” thing a number of years ago in favor of a good meal and some ‘together’ time. Have never tried this particular recipe but rest assured it will be on my menu soon. During these long winter months the highlight of my day is supper time ( sad, I know!!) and this looks like it would be a hit in this house as well. Like Paula, I try to get the low sodium broth, but be aware, it does affect the taste…

  7. Gulzar Ali says:

    It looks so delicious! I often avoid trying foods that are not very fast or have only a few steps, but this one looks so good!
    Gulzar Ali recently posted…El Nuevo Ángulo Sobre la Importancia de la Tecnologia Acaba de lanzarMy Profile


  1. […] For example, we usually work together, with a glass of wine (of course!) and make a special dinner. It could be anything from Seafood Linguine to  Butternut Squash Risotto With Pancetta.   […]

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