Caramelized Acorn Squash Risotto with Brown Sage Butter and Pancetta


2 cups peeled and seeded acorn squash, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 ounces unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces shaved pancetta
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup white wine
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

In saute pan, toss squash with 1 ounce butter until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in 350-degree oven until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Blanch peas in boiling salted water. Quickly remove and place in ice-water bath. Drain and set aside.

In sauce pot, combine olive oil, pancetta, shallots and garlic. Add rice and stir for 3 minutes or until toasted and translucent. Add 1 cup of stock. Stir over medium heat until stock is absorbed. Add the next 2 cups of stock, 1 at a time. Add white wine and grated Parmesan cheese. The rice should be creamy, like oatmeal. 

In small sauce pan, heat remaining 2 ounces of butter until bubbles begin to subside and butter turns brown. Remove from heat. Add sage and several drops of lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add acorn squash and peas to risotto. Add stock as needed to reach oatmeal consistency.

Spoon risotto into warm bowls. Drizzle warm brown butter over risotto and top with shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

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