I have made risotto a many a time before. But this was the creamiest most decadent risotto I have ever made. That is probably because I have never put almost a full stick of butter in my risotto. It is probably also because I have never flavored my risotto with pancetta. I also usually try to make it with brown rice which always turns out crunchy no matter how much liquid you put or how long you cook it. Yes, this risotto was the best risotto I have ever made according to my mouth.....although maybe not to my waist!
So funny story! The day I decided to make this recipe happened to be my friend Tevra's birthday. Tevra is a vegetarian and I thought "Hey she can come to dinner!" So I invited her and told her I was making butternut squash risotto. When she accepted I was too excited about the chance to cook for someone other than my husband that I didn't even think about the fact that this risotto has pancetta and chicken broth in it! As I was adding the chicken broth to the rice and letting it cook slowly it suddenly occurred to me that chicken broth was not vegetarian! "Hmm....maybe she won't notice....I thought." And then I looked down at the little pits of pancetta and had an epiphany. This risotto is definitely not vegetarian! Oh NO! Tevra was due at our front door any minute by this time. Luckily, I had some extra leftover white rice in the fridge. So I frantically tossed the left over rice in a new pan with some butter and onions. Then I added some white wine and tumeric and stirred until the rice had absorbed all the liquid and become nice and creamy (Yes I used tumeric in both dishes instead of saffron, I am just too cheap to justify spending that much for an herb!) I added the butternut squash and parmesan cheese to my vegetarian "risotto" and it turned out great. In fact you couldn't even tell which dish was vegetarian and which wasn't they looked and tasted almost exactly the same! I was worried that the vegetarian version would taste to much like alcohol because I only used wine as the liquid but it didn't at all. The alcohol burned off and left a nice fruity taste to the rice that was very mild! (of course that might have been because I added A LOT of parmesan cheese!
So the moral of this story is: 1) know what you are cooking before inviting your vegetarian friends to dinner! And 2) if your too lazy to spend the amount of time it takes to make risotto, just used precooked rice, add some onions, wine, spices, veggies, meat, and lots of parmesan cheese. It's good! But there is nothing that compares to homemade risotto...with lots of butter!