Risotto Butternut Squash Speck

I’m a Risotto addict. It’s more than food; it’s a ritual. And it’s a nice change from all the pasta!
As the preparation takes a while, it’s the perfect dish to cook on a Friday evening to unwind from the work week.

There are numerous recipes available, and I cooked a few of them, but I’m always returning to two versions. This is one of them.

Risotto Butternut Squash Speck

Let’s start with an innocent onion and dice it:

An Onion

The other ingredients are Carnaroli rice, vegetable broth, and, of course, butternut squash.

Risotto Ingredients with Broth

Parmesan is another ingredient, and a Risotto is an excellent opportunity to use the rind, which usually ends in the bin.

Parmesan Rind

To prepare the butternut squash for dicing, I place it in the microwave for a few minutes. It will soften up, so it’s easier to handle.

Butternut Squash in the Microwave

After frying the onion for a bit, I add the rice and roast it for a minute or two; then, I add a little white wine and let it vaporize.

Frying Rice

Here I added the Parmesan rind and the first two spoons of broth. I’m using medium temperature initially, but I will increase it later once the rice gets soft.

Parmesan in Risotto cooking

The squash is ready for slice & dice:

Cutting Butternut Squash

I quickly add it to the rice so it can cook with the other ingredients to distribute taste and turn soft:

Adding Butternut Squash to the Risotto

Two thick slices of Speck. This one is from South Tirol and is considered “original,” but I doubt that the source significantly impacts the taste. It does have an impact on the price, unfortunately!

Slices of Speck

Cut the slices:

Cutting Tirol Speck

Do the same with a little Parmesan:

Cutting Parmesan Cheese

Add both missing ingredients and some sage, and finish stirring and boiling until the broth is gone.
Tip: Once the remaining broth is in the pot, I increase the temperature for a bit to accelerate the process. But this requires more attention while stiring, as you don’t want the rice to get burned.

Risotto Butternut Squash Speck almost ready

And here we go, Risotto Butternut Squash Speck:

Risotto Butternut Squash Speck

As a wine accompaniment, I suggest a fruity red, light to medium body. I had a Sangiovese, another good choice could be a Pinot Noir.
Enjoy your Risotto Butternut Squash Speck!

Ingredients for two portions:

  • Rice, a cup / 200 gr
  • Butternut squash
  • Speck slices
  • Parmesan
  • One liter of vegetable broth
  • An onion
  • Sage
  • White wine for deglazing
  • Red wine for dining

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