Growing up, risotto was always red. We ate it on a plate. This was never one of my favorite Sunday dinners (shockingly I used to be the pickiest eater). To make it more fun my sister and I would use a fork and carve out the first initial of our names into the risotto, eat what we carved out, pile it all back together and do it again until it was gone. This pumpkin risotto does not need to be played with to be enjoyed.

  • 1 sugar pumpkin, diced (seeds aside)
  • 1 medium onion – half diced, the other half finely chopped
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 2 tbslp butter
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper
For the Pumpkin Puree:

In a large saucepan, cook the diced pumpkin and the half diced onion in olive oil (season with salt and pepper) over medium heat until soft, about 10-12 minutes. Add the nutmeg, one sage leaf, and white wine – cook until the liquid is evaporated. Using a food processor or blender, purée the mixture and set aside. Roast the pumpkin seeds, coated in olive oil and salt, in a 400° oven. Fry the sage leaves in olive oil.

For the Risotto:

Bring the stock to a boil in a stockpot, then reduce heat to low. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pot, heat the butter over medium and add the finely chopped onions. Cook until soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter, about one minute. Add the first addition of stock, one ladle full, and continuously stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process until the mixture is creamy and still slightly loose, but the rice still has some chew to it. The entire process should take exactly 18 minutes. At this point add the pumpkin purée and cook 2 minutes longer.  Turn off the heat and add the parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper.