This hearty risotto is fabulous winter fare. The butternut squash is roasted for intense flavour. The crispy pancetta and toasted walnuts are the perfect finishing touches. Serve as a warming main course, or as a starter in smaller portions. Instead of pancetta cubes, you can use diced streaky bacon.
Make this vegetarian by omitting the pancetta and using vegetable stock.
You can try this with other types of winter squash, or with pumpkin, which will work a treat!
If you're not a fan of thyme, grated nutmeg would be a nice addition instead. You can also use a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme instead of dried.
Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano cheese work just as well as Parmesan in this recipe.
Check out our How to make risotto guide for foolproof tips on making perfect risotto every time!
Great! I don't usually like nuts in savoury dishes but put the walnuts in all the same, and they really added to both the taste and texture with a bit of crunchiness. Used bacon bits instead of pancetta. Highly recommend this dish. - 24 Oct 2015
Delicious, I substituted the pancetta with Chorizo and omitted the walnuts, as I personally don't like them. Still a very very tasty meal. Half the above quantity made ample for me and my fella as a main meal. - 07 Sep 2013
Great recepie. Rich and meaty. Full of flavour. - 28 Mar 2013