1 small red kuri squash (also known as a red kabocha or potimarron)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
12 slices pancetta (or bacon)
2 ounces peeled cooked chestnuts (vacuum packed are fine), chopped
15 fresh sage leaves
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
5 small stalks celery, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Halve pumpkin lengthwise, and remove seeds. Cut pumpkin into quarters, lightly oil them with either olive or avocado oil, and roast for 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft. Remove pumpkin from oven and set aside. When it is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from 3/4 of the pumpkin and put into a small bowl. Chop the last 1/4 so that it is still a bit chunky – this will give your dish a little bit of texture. (This pumpkin part can be done in advance to save time!)On the stovetop, cook the pancetta (or bacon) until crispy, drain, and chop into pieces. In a small bowl, add chopped chestnuts, sage, a tablespoon olive oil, and mix well with the crispy pancetta.
Place chicken stock in a small pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to very low to keep warm. Place a large saucepan over medium heat, and add tablespoon olive oil, shallots, celery and a dash of salt. Stir, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, and add rice. Stir constantly until rice is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine until it is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.
Begin adding broth to rice, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. Allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding next; process will take about 20 minutes. When ready, rice will be soft with a slight bite (al dente). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove rice from heat. Add mashed pumpkin, and stir vigorously until mixed; fold in the rough chopped pumpkin. Mix in butter and Parmesan. Place a lid over the saucepan, and let sit for 2 minutes. To serve, place a portion on each of 6 serving plates. Top each portion with crumbled bacon, and sprinkle with mixture of chestnuts, sage. Add a dash more cheese, and serve immediately.