Crisp, smokey pancetta and sweet herby butternut, all brought together with some grated manchego. This pancetta, butternut and wild rice skillet is a simple weeknight meal with just a 20 minute wait time. You’d be surprised how much flavour you can build in to a dish in that time with just a handful of ingredients.
Did you spot the two sneaky good bits? Spinach and linseed. They’re more for nutrition than flavour but I bet you could entice even the fussiest eater to eat them hidden in this dish.
We’ve talked lots about my cooking habits; how I almost never make the same meal twice. There’s always a twist, a small tweak, something different. Well, one of my hopes is that my blog teaches you how to experiment more with flavour, how to take a recipe and make it your own or just tailor it to the contents of your cupboards. This recipe is the type that can handle some serious playing around. Let’s see:
-Try adding some chilli flakes or smoked paprika to spice it up
-Swap the spinach for rocket or kale
-Use chorizo instead of pancetta
-Top with seeds for crunch, maybe even chilli roasted squash seeds
-Make with pumpkin, acorn squash or sweet potato instead of butternut
-The rice can easily be swapped for quinoa or anything from my 5 grains to try post.
If you have leftover rice, this is a killer one pan recipe and something to keep bookmarked ready for the next ‘feed an army’ rice overestimation. It happens to us all but especially when your boyfriend decides to take the weighing scales in to work with him.
If you’re reading, I’d quite like them back. Please.
Food Blogger in need.
If you’re a cup measurer, the rice for this recipe is about 3/4 of a US measure cup, measured dry and uncooked.
- 140g Mixed long grain and wild rice (uncooked weight)
- 130g Smoked pancetta, diced
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 Small butternut squash, cut in to 1cm cubes (seeds and skin removed)
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 handful fresh spinach
- 100g Manchego cheese, grated
- 30g Linseed to serve (optional)
- Following the instructions on the packaging, cook the rice.
- In a large skillet or frying pan over a medium heat, add the pancetta. Once some fat has melted, add the onions and fry for around 6 minutes.
- Once the onions are translucent and the pancetta beginning to brown, add the butternut squash cubes and the leaves from the thyme
- Sauté for around 10 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.
- Add the drained rice, spinach leaves and grated cheese, stirring until the cheese melts and the spinach has wilted.
- Serve straight away with the linseed sprinkled over.
Whilst the linseed is optional, it adds a lovely crunch which works really well with the soft squash. If you have the time, you could follow my recipe for roasted butternut squash seeds with chilli. These also make a great healthy snack.