Butternut Squash Risotto

2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 tbsp olive oil


1/2 tsp pepper, divided

3 cans chicken broth

6 tbsp butter

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 c cooked bacon bits

1 1/2 c arborio rice

1/2 c white wine

1/2 tsp saffron threads (optional)

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash cubes in a foil-lined shallow pan. Toss with olive oil, salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing midway through. While squash is roasting, heat chicken broth in a medium saucepan. In a 5 quart Dutch oven, melt butter. Add onion and bacon bits. Saute 7 minutes. Add rice. When grains are coated, add wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of chicken broth and saffron threads (optional). Stir. When broth is absorbed, add chicken broth, 2 ladles at a time, stirring until chicken broth is absorbed. Repeat until all broth is used. Stir in roasted butternut squash chunks and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.