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Fall is here!  Bring on the squash and cozy comfort foods!  This risotto is exactly that, so grab a bowl and snuggle up!

I love cooking in the Fall.  The warm spices and unapologetic rich, cozy dishes are all on the table.  Squash is so flexible that you can cook with it all season long and never tire.  When I opened up my CSA box from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, and saw my first butternut squash of the season, my heart smiled because I knew risotto was on the way.  For me, earthy sage and sweet butternut squash pair beautifully, and add so much depth and character to the average risotto.

Make your heart and table smile too, and make this Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto for your family next time you see a beautiful squash at the market! 🙂

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Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto           

Cook Time: 45mins Serves: 4-6

1 ½ cup Arborio rice

6 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock

1 yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

6 slices of pancetta, diced

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½ in cubes

10 sage leaves

1tsp red pepper flakes

3tbls unsalted butter

3tbls olive oil

¼ cup white wine

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan, plus more for garnish.

¼ cup chives, finely chopped

salt & pepper

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Pour all of the stock into a pot and heat over low. Add 4 sage leaves.

Chiffonade 6 of the sage leaves.

Combine sage, butternut squash, 2 tbls olive oil. Spread evenly on a small sheet tray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender.

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Heat 1tbls of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove pancetta and set aside.

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Add onion to the Dutch oven, season with red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, and cook until translucent. About 5 minutes.

Add garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the rice. Combine with onions and garlic. Toast the rice for about 5 minutes until it begins to give off a nutty smell.

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Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until wine is completely absorbed.

Lower heat to medium-low.

Slowly, one ladle at a time, ladle chicken stock into the rice. Stir, and allow to cook until liquid is completely absorbed. Then add another ladle.

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After about 4 or 5 ladles of stock, test the rice by tasting it to see if it is done. The rice should be cooked all the way through, but not completely mush.

Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat, and gently mix in the roasted butternut squash and sage.

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Add Parmesan cheese and pancetta. Combine well.

Garnish each serving with additional Parmesan, and a sprinkle of chives.

Enjoy!

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