40-Minute Family Meal: Pancetta, Squash and Kale Risotto

Getting kids to eat butternut squash and Kale all in one dish? Easy when there’s pancetta and parmesan involved.

This is a great Fall risotto and the squash really captures the season (if you’re baking in 80 degree heat you’ll have to use your imagination a bit).

What you’ll need:

One cup of arborio rice
Olive oil
One butternut squash – peeled and cubed
1/4 lb of pancetta – chopped
One bunch of fresh kale, stems taken off and chopped
1/4 cup of fresh parmigiana-reggiano
Four cups of chicken stock or hot water, kept simmering.



Risotto is a time-intensive operation made easy but some efficient
up-front preparation. So…first saute your pancetta with a little
olive oil in a 14 inch chef’s pan or paella pan.

Add the kale and saute for five minutes. Reserve both the pancetta
and the kale, add some more olive oil to the bacony base and, when hot,
add the cubed squash. Cook for another five minutes then throw in the
rice and make sure it is coated sufficiently with the olive oil (1 min).

Add two ladles of hot broth/water/a drop of white wine never hurt
either and stir the rice until it has absorbed nearly all the liquid.



Repeat….until the rice is al dente and the squash is soft but still holding together.

Add one more ladle of liquid then reintroduce the pancetta and kale and stir together.

Now add the parmesan cheese, keeping a small amount for little minds
to add after (just in case they don’t believe you when you say there’s
cheese in it already!).

Serve, sit back and believe your eyes. Kids really do like kale and squash.

- Matthew

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3 Responses to 40-Minute Family Meal: Pancetta, Squash and Kale Risotto

  1. Yeah? I’ve got a butternut squash taking up space on the kitchen table, and I’ve got a cup of Trader Joe’s arborio rice…no kale, but that can be procured….
    we’ll just see if kids eat this or not. *MY* kids, I mean.
    And heck, if not, It sounds delish to me. I’ll eat it and give them Cheerios for dinner again.

  2. matthew says:

    Pancetta is the key to making this dish work…

  3. this sounds so good. i’m going to make it tomorrow night.

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