Butternut Squash, Pancetta and Sage Risotto

There’s a simple reason that butternut squash, pancetta and sage is a flavour combination that’s been done time and time again – it’s delicious! Here it tops a creamy risotto, and can be made as decadent or as pared back as you like. Warming, filling and incredibly satisfying to cook this time of year, risottos are brilliantly adaptable and this lower FODMAP version is perfect for those of us with sensitive guts.

If you’re OK with onion and garlic, add half a large onion and two cloves of garlic, finely chopped, to the pan when cooking the celery, adding 10 minutes or so to the cooking time. Use olive oil instead of the garlic infused oil.

Remove the pancetta if you’d prefer the recipe veggie and look for a vegetarian hard cheese instead of Parmesan. For a delicious twist, use buckwheat instead of rice, cooking it in exactly the same way, until tender but with a bit of bite.

Serves 6


1 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1.7 litres FODMAP friendly stock, or hot water
50g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
400g risotto rice
1 glass or good glug of dry white wine
150g diced pancetta
Medium bunch of fresh sage leaves
½ scant teaspoon chilli flakes
100g Parmesan cheese, grated


1. Heat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Keeping the skin on, cut the butternut squash into small chunks, removing the seeds as you go. Toss the squash in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a shallow roasting tin, making sure the squash is nestled in a single layer and roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and golden brown at the edges.

2. While the squash is roasting, make a start on your risotto. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, melt a knob of the butter over a medium heat along with the garlic infused oil. Add the celery and cook gently for 5-6 minutes, until the veg is soft but not browned, stirring every so often.

3. Add the rice to the pan, stirring continuously until the rice is shiny, slightly toasted and its edges start to look transparent.

4. Pour in the wine and cook for a further five minutes. Once evaporated, add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked al dente. Season to taste, remembering the cheese and pancetta will add more saltiness.

5. Towards the end of cooking, heat a separate pan over a medium heat and add the pancetta. You don’t need any oil as the pancetta will release enough fat. Cook until crispy and then place on some kitchen paper to drain. In the same pan, add the sage leaves and fry until crisp. Set aside on the kitchen paper too.

6. When cooked, remove the risotto pan from the heat, add the chilli flakes, remaining knob of butter and the Parmesan, then stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow it to sit for two minutes, to allow everything to get oozy and gooey.

7. Serve the risotto scattered with the roasted squash (for low FODMAP use up to 45g if you need to be strict), crispy pancetta and sage leaves. Finish with a final grating of parmesan and a twist of black pepper.

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