Pumpkin Cheese Risotto

Risotto is a classic Italian rice dish. Although it requires constant watching and stirring it is well worth the time and effort. Do not rinse the rice before cooking it. The starch that coats each grain is important for making creamy risotto. Serve as soon as possible after cooking to prevent gumminess.


  • 7 to 8 cups chicken stock, canned or homemade
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice*
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 sage leaves for garnish

* Arborio rice, the short-grained variety best suited for risotto, is available at Italian and specialty food stores. If you cannot find it, California pearl rice is a good substitute.


  1. In a saucepan, heat stock to a simmer and holds at a very slow simmer.
  2. In a large heavy bottom saucepan next to stock, heat butter and add onion. Cook over medium heat until translucent.
  3. Add rice, stir, and add 1 1/2 cups hot stock. Stir until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add another 1 1/2 cups hot stock.
  4. Repeat a third time adding pumpkin and sage.
  5. Repeat with another 1 1/2 cups hot stock and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Continue to stir until most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
  7. After about 25 to 30 minutes, taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Rice should be firm but tender (al dente).
  8. Leave risotto a little runny before adding the cheese so it will have a creamy not stiff texture.
  9. Ladle into soup plates and garnish with a sage leaf.

Yield: four servings as a main course or six appetizer servings

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