- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & cubed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups apple cider
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 6 thick bacon slices, diced
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh minced sage
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Toss the cubed butternut squash with one tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove and let cool slightly before pureeing with a blender or hand blender. Set aside.
- While the squash is baking, combine the apple cider and the chicken stock in a large pot over low heat.
- At the same time, cook the bacon in a heavy soup pot over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.
- Turn the heat under the apple cider mixture to medium.
- Add the shallots to the bacon grease and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding the sage and nutmeg, then the rice, then the wine. Immediately after adding the wine, scrape the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to get all of the flavor off and into the mixture.
- Cook, stirring, until the wine is mostly absorbed. Add half a cup of the apple cider mixture, and cook (stirring) until absorbed. Repeat until the rice is almost done, but slightly al dente. You might not use all of the liquid.
- Mix in the squash puree, along with the pepper and grated cheese. Cook for another five minutes, then serve topped with extra bacon and cheese.
- If you have leftover liquid, it can be used to soften up leftovers the next day.