Savory Winter Recipe with Cancer Fighting Ingredients – Risotto with Winter Squash

Jan. 8, 2018

A few weeks ago we featured a recipe from the website Eat to Beat Cancer at This website is a great resource, sharing how you can incorporate cancer fighting ingredients into your daily meal planning.  

Did you know that winter squash (butternut squash) contains antioxidant-rich vitamin C and beta carotene which is a benefit in heart disease, cataracts and the fight against cancer?

The Eat to Beat Cancer website provides a wealth of information about cancer fighting foods.  If you click the Food link on the website you will find a list of fruits, herbs/spices, vegetables, oils/sauces/condiments, seafood, meat products, legumes/nuts/beans, grains/seeds/flours, beverages/soups, dairy products and sweets.  When you select one of these food groups additional education about each food group is displayed such as the varieties and uses of the food item, practical considerations for the food item and mechanisms and evidence that support why the food item is considered a cancer fighting food.  

If you click the Recipe link on the website you can search for recipes that include a specific ingredient (i.e. winter squash) or you can simply search the alphabetical listing of recipes.

Recipe from

Winter Squash with Risotto

By: Mario Batali

Serves 4, as a main course


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion

1 small winter squash (eg. butternut squash, acorn squash)

1½ cups Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

6-8 cups chicken stock, heated until hot

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Prepare the squash:  bake (as necessary) to soften slightly, cut in half, seed, remove flesh and cut into ¼-inch dice.  Cut the onion into ¼-inch dice. In a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and squash and cook until the onion is softened and translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine, then add a 4- to 6-ounce ladleful of stock and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding the stock a ladleful at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed each time before adding more, until the rice is tender and creamy yet still al dente, about 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and the Parmigiano, and stir vigorously until well mixed, about 25 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the risotto among four warmed plates, and serve with additional Parmigiano.

Photo by Blair Fraser on Unsplash