Meatless Monday Recipe: Pumpkin Sage Risotto

| 10/24/2011 2:44:39 PM

This past weekend was a good one. After getting over a 24-hour flu bug that struck me down on Friday (sorry for missing my Feelgood Friday post...I was not feeling good!), I was back in decent shape on Saturday. That was lucky for me, because we had two good friends in town (three counting their dog, Mable) from Minneapolis. Because I was still a bit under the weather, we decided to camp out at home for the night and make a delicious meal and a fire in the firepit. Earlier in the day, we visited the pumpkin patch that's about 2 miles from my house. We picked up pumpkins for decoration and carving and grabbed an extra pie pumpkin for that night's dinner. My husband, James, fired up our outdoor masonry oven and slow-roasted two whole chickens (we had six people over), and our friend Lisa volunteered to make a pumpkin risotto. The chicken was divine, but that risotto was the star of the meal--flavored with the sage grown in our front yard! It could easily stand on its own as a main dish for dinner. We ate the whole feast with a salad and bread from our favorite local bread afficionado, Karen Keb Will. I would be thrilled to have this as the entree for a regular weeknight dinner, but it was definitely fabulous enough to grace an upcoming holiday table. I thought I'd share the delicous recipe (from the great blog Occasional Omnivore)! 

Pumpkin Risotto
 Pumpkin Sage Risotto
1/2 of a 3- to 4-pound pumpkin, roasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan 
1 teaspoon (or more) coarse Kosher salt
Pepper to taste 

Roast pumpkin (here are great step-by-step instructions), chopping half of the pumpkin into 1/2-inch cubes and reserving the second half for another use. 

Bring stock and wine to a near boil, and turn heat to low. 

Heat olive oil in a wide, 4- to 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 8 minutes, until soft. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes more. Add rice to the pot and toast for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Now, add 1/2 cup stock mixture at a time, pouring in the next 1/2 cup only after all of liquid has been absorbed by the rice. You should stir the rice constantly. Depending on how salty your stock is, I usually add 1 teaspoon kosher salt once 2 cups of stock have been added, so the rice has plenty of time to absorb the flavor. 

Once all of the liquid has been added, the grains should be al dente and the dish creamy (don’t let all of the liquid from you last pour get absorbed). Stir in pumpkin and sage, and cook until it’s heated through. Add parmesan, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 

Serves 5 (as a main course) or 7 (side-dish servings) 

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