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Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Sugared Walnuts

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield 8 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup risotto, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon nuts)
This seasonal fall rice dish featuring roasted butternut squash makes a satisfying side dish for roasted turkey, roast beef or ham, but it’s hearty enough to be a main dish, too. You can make it a meatless dish by leaving out the pancetta and using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon thyme or 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 259
  • fat 10.7 g
  • satfat 2.7 g
  • monofat 2.6 g
  • polyfat 3.8 g
  • protein 7.5 g
  • carbohydrate 35.5 g
  • fiber 3.9 g
  • cholesterol 9 mg
  • iron 1.3 mg
  • sodium 397 mg
  • calcium 95 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.

  2. Arrange nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Place nuts in a bowl. Drizzle butter over warm nuts; sprinkle with sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss well to coat.

  3. Combine squash and 1 tablespoon oil, tossing to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from pan; stir in garlic. Set aside.

  4. Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

  5. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with cheese and nuts.