Butternut Squash Risotto

with Chestnuts & Black Truffles



Serves 6 to 8 people

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound cannaroli or vialone nano rice

1 cup pancetta, cut into a small dice

1 cup onions, finely diced

2 cups white wine, such as Friulano or Riesling

2 ½ quarts chicken stock (homemade, or store-bought)

1 cup butternut squash, cut into a medium dice

¼ cup Hubbard squash puree (see recipe below)

1 dozen each fresh chestnuts, roasted & skins removed

1 quart coarsely chopped bitter greens & chicories (escarole, radicchio, frisee)

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small black winter truffle (optional)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to finish


In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan or large rondeau over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and lightly toast rice for two minutes. Remove rice and reserve on a separate dish. In the same pan, add pancetta and slowly cook until most the fat has rendered, about 3 minutes.


Add the onions and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sweat until onions become translucent.


Add the toasted rice back to the pan and deglaze with the wine, allowing all the wine to reduce.


Add 2 cups of chicken stock and stir slowly and constantly until liquid is absorbed. Repeat this step again with another quart of chicken stock and then add the squash, squash puree and chestnuts. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time and begin to stir more vigorously as the stock gets absorbed.


After about 15 to 20 minutes the rice should be just about cooked. Test the grains and look to ensure there is a small amount of bite left to the rice. If more liquid is required, hot water can be used to finish cooking the rice. Once cooked to the desired texture, pull the rice off the stove and finish with chopped bitter greens, grated cheese, butter, olive oil and finely shaved black truffle.


To make the Hubbard squash puree

Cut the squash into 3 or 4 evenly sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil, and wrap in foil. Roast in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until very soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then place the cooked squash in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to form a relatively smooth puree. Set aside.




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