Pancetta and Summer Squash Risotto

Pancetta and Summer Squash Risotto

This past week, we’ve been doing some upkeep to the house on the outside in preparation for the rainy season.  We got our house (shingles) stained, painted, gutters patched and cleaned.  The work is almost done and it looks beautiful! Antonio, our contractor, did a great job! I can’t wait to see when it’s completely finished.

Pancetta and Summer Squash Risotto

Summer is coming to an end soon so I thought I’d make one last attempt on a summer-y dish.  Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables so I thought I’d make a risotto out of this.  The pancetta here really flavored the dish beautifully.  Not only was it tasty but it looked gorgeous! You can always substitute for bacon if you can’t get pancetta or if you’re into more of a smoky flavor.  Have a great week!

Pancetta and Summer Squash Risotto

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  • 5 ounces of pancetta, diced
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 2 small yellow squash, diced
  • 3 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 (32 ounce) can/box of chicken broth
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups of arborio rice
  • 1 cup of white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved for garnish
  • fresh chives, finely chopped for garnish

Pancetta and Summer Squash Risotto


In a medium sauté pan over medium high heat add olive oil and pancetta.  Sauté pancetta until fragrant then add squash and zucchini.  Cook them until slightly tender, about 5 minutes then transfer to a bowl; set aside.

In a small sauce pan, add chicken broth and let it sit on low heat.

In the same sauté pan add more olive oil (just a touch) and butter.  Let the butter melt and then add chopped onions.  Cook until soft then add arbroio rice.  Sauté rice until rice has a slight brown and nutty color then pour white wine.  While stirring, let it bubble and reduce.  Ladle in warm chicken broth one ladle at a time and stir until broth is absorbed into the rice.  You will continue to do this until rice is tender or until the broth runs out.  If the rice still hasn’t softened and there’s no more broth left, use water instead.  Stir in grated parmesan cheese and remove from heat.  Immediately stir in pancetta and squash mixture.  At this point the risotto is ready.  Check for seasoning before serving.  Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh chives.

Pancetta and Summer Squash Risotto


55 thoughts on “Pancetta and Summer Squash Risotto

  1. This risotto looks delicious! I love the combination of pancetta and zucchini, but never used it for a risotto! I hope summer is not quite at an end yet… we haven’t had such a sunny summer in years, I would like it to last a bit more 🙂

  2. Beautiful, Anne and one of my favorites! I was curious if you have a favorite chivken broth/stock that you’d recommend. I try to have homemade in the freezer (and replenish when needed), but it’s nice to have a good one for the pantry.

    Happy Sunday!
    P.S. Glad to hear your home updates are going smoothly!

    • Hi Allison! I always keep Trader Joe’s organic low sodium chicken broth around the house. If you’re looking for something smaller in quantity, I also stock Swanson’s 100% fat free 33% less sodium chicken broth. Hope you’re doing well. Have a great week!

  3. You had me when I spotted “pancetta” in the post’s title. This sounds like a fantastic risotto, Anne, and a perfect use of the Summer harvest. I bet you’re relieved to have the work on your house nearing completion. This risotto would make a great celebratory dish.

  4. We just harvested a HUGE summer squash. Perfect timing for this recipe! This looks delicious, and I’m sure the pancetta adds a great amount of flavor!

  5. Yum, Anne! This was just the inspiration I needed – I got SO much squash in my CSA this week and was feeling particularly low creativity as to how to use it. Will be making risotto this week!

  6. Oh boy, I never thought to put squash in risotto. This looks delicious and I love pancetta… spaghetti carbonara with pancetta is one of my favorite things to eat! I love the chives as garnish. : )

  7. Love this fun summery risotto and sorry to hear about all of the woes of homeownership. This the perfect time of the year for zuchinni recipes. I am certain that there are many zuchinni big enough to be used as a floatational device in many backyards looking for a great recipe to be in.

  8. Risotto is one of my favourite dishes and I just love the colours and chunky veg in this one. Definitely bookmarking this recipe to try.

  9. I absolutely adore risotto! I like this version of it. We have been doing a TON of work on our house too….we are putting in a new patio. What a project!! It’s nice to see progress being made, though 🙂

  10. Glad you are holding onto summer, girl. I am doing the same. Although I just adore fall, I need to hold onto summer every bit (missed out on so much last year when ill). Beautiful risotto dish! I’m starving right now (need to eat dinner soon, LOL) and I now have a major craving for risotto! A perfect late summer meal. Pretty photos, Anne…I want to dive right in! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Summer squash is also one of my favorite vegetables. I love that you got creative with it and made a risotto. The pancetta is a nice touch! Pinned!

  12. What a great mix of flavors for risotto! Love that salty pancetta. I’m still up to my ears in zucchini so this is inspiring! Have a great night Anne!

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