Store Cupboard Suppers - Baked Risotto with Butternut Squash and Pancetta
This is a recipe I started to make years ago when both my teens were tiny and would thankfully eat most things (we now have a third addition, who is the fussiest child on the planet but that's a different story). Amended from on an old Tana Ramsey Family Kitchen recipe, it's one of those dishes I find myself making time and again, especially when we have a glut of butternut squash.
Don't use expensive organic Carnoroli for this by the way, it's not the kind of risotto that has to be lovingly tended to over a hot stove - it's one of those dishes where everything gets chucked into one pot and forgotten about for half an hour (more or less!) - perfect for these strange pandemic times on the days when quite frankly I am sick of cooking...
And that fussiest child on the planet of mine I mentioned at the start of this post? He might not eat this in baked risotto form, but will eat it made into Arancini the following day, tuck a ball of mozzarella in the middle (we have been known to use cheddar, we are not purists!), form into a ball, dip into beaten egg then breadcrumbs and shallow fry ...
400g risotto rice;
2 pints chicken (or vegetable stock if you are omitting the bacon/pancetta);
50g butter cut into cubes;
500g butternut squash peeled and cut into cubes;
Freshly Ground Pepper;
250g cubed smoked pancetta or 6 slices smoked bacon;
Large handful of frozen peas;
Heat the oven to 200°C. Place the rice, butter, squash, stock and a good pinch of freshly ground pepper into a cast-iron casserole dish (with a lid if you have one), give it a stir, put the lid on (if not just use a large ovenproof dish and cover with foil, tightly sealing the edges) and bake for 30 minutes.
If you are adding pancetta or bacon, cook this separately now until crispy and put to one side.
Carefully take the risotto out of the oven, give it another stir, then add the pancetta, the frozen peas and most of the parmesan, saving a little for serving.
Don't forget to make arancini with any leftovers, if you have any!