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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

Dan’s Baked Risotto

(**My brother-in-law doubles the recipe &  makes two dinners: 1 traditional risotto for the first night & 1 risotto balls for the second night, recipe below)


4 strips of bacon (thick cut) – 2 sliced; 2 cut into ½” pieces
2 shallots chopped
2 cups arborio rice
5 cups of chicken stock
3/4 cup of grated Parmigianino
1 cups of diced (1/4 inch) Butternut squash

Optional: 1 pinch of saffron.


Preheat oven to 400°

Roast diced butternut squash in olive oil and salt for 1/2 hr.

Meanwhile sauté the 2 slices of diced bacon and shallots (bacon fat makes its own frying oil) till shallots are clear and bacon on verge of crispy…

Spoon mixture into a  9 x 13 oven proof dish. Add squash, rice, stock, salt and generous grinds of pepper (if using saffron add now) and stir. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 400° for 50 minutes.

In the meantime, fry the remaining bacon till crisp. Set a side.

Remove risotto from oven, stir in Parmigianino and season with salt and pepper. Stir in bacon and serve.

Risotto Balls

Left over risotto (can be cold from the refrigerator)
2 eggs, beaten
Mozzarella – ¼” – ½” cubes
Breadcrumbs or panko
Canola oil for frying

Mix egg into risotto. Form small balls (a little bigger than golf ball) around the mozzarella cubes (I use an ice cream scooper to form the balls, then push in the cubes). Coat balls with breadcrumbs and fry in a generous amount of canola for about 5-7 minutes (till golden brown).

These too, can be kept in the refrigerator and reheated…


Dan tweaked this MUCHO from Donna Hay’s, “The Instant Cook”


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