butternut squash risotto with crispy sage & pancetta

Serves 4   Approx time: 80 mins  


  • 1 butternut squash, deseeded and cut lengthways into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 40 g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed
  • 300 g risotto rice
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • 2 handfuls Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 12 slices pancetta or dry-cured smoky bacon
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
  • extra virgin olive oil



Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. In an ovenproof dish, toss the squash wedges with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast for 30 minutes, or until soft.

Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a small saucepan on a high heat, then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Make sure the stirrer attachment is in place in the HomeCooker pan, then set the temperature to 130°C. Sit the Plus unit alongside it with the coarse grater in place.

Once the pan has heated up, add the olive oil and half the butter. Switch on the Plus unit and run through the onion and celery into the pan (if you don't have a Plus unit, simply finely chop by hand). Set the timer for 10 minutes, so the veg are soft but not coloured.

Add the rice to the pan and set the temperature to 175°C. Set the timer for 5 minutes, so the rice turns translucent. Add the white wine and let it bubble for a couple of minutes, then pour in the hot stock. Reduce the temperature to 130°C and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Scoop the soft squash out of its skin. Add it to the pan, set the temperature to 70°C and set the timer for a final 2 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Fry the pancetta and sage leaves until crispy, removing to a plate lined with kitchen paper when done.

Turn the HomeCooker off and carefully remove the stirrer attachment. Stir the Parmesan and butter into the risotto, season to taste then pop the lid on the pan and leave to sit for 2 minutes. Divide between your plates, top with the crispy sage and pancetta, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve right away.

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