Risotto with Butternut Squash & Pancetta

“The creamy, buttery sweetness of butternut squash makes a good complement to the 2014 Estate Chardonnay. This pairing is comfort food and comfort wine at its best.”

– Lu Hughes, AVV Wine Club Director/ Direct Sales Manager

1-1/2 lbs. butternut squash –peeled,seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes (3½ cups)
2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1-1/3 cups water
2 tbls. AVV Estate Chardonnay
1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
4 oz. chopped pancetta (or thick cut bacon)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry aged jack cheese (Nicasio Reserve)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 475˚. Place squash on a nonstick sheet pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, turning after 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325.

Combine broth, water, wine, and tarragon in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat.
Cook pancetta in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan; drain on a paper towel. Discard pan drippings. Add onion and oil to Dutch oven, sauté 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add rice to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

(Do not stir; rice will have a liquid consistency similar to stew).

Place Dutch oven in the oven and bake at 325˚ for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the squash, pancetta, cheese, salt and pepper. Cover with a clean cloth and let stand for 10 minutes (rice will continue to cook). Sprinkle with pine nuts. Garnish with a tarragon sprig if desired.

Serve with a bottle of 2014 Estate Chardonnay.