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Spring has officially sprung, but we haven’t quite seen our last chilly evening here in DC. The other day I was craving a plate of something warm and comforting when I realized I still had a good bit of homemade pumpkin puree in my freezer from this past fall. This pumpkin risotto I made up filled the bill nicely and set the stage for some fabulous risotto balls (post coming soon).

You’ll need:

4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
6-7 fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage)
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to sprinkle on at the table
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sage brown butter and toasted pine nuts (optional), to garnish

Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for about 1 minute. Stirring constantly, add the sage and rice and cook for another minute.

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Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.

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Add 2 cups of stock and cook, stirring all the way, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Repeat, one cup of stock at a time, stirring until it’s absorbed.

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You want the rice to be cooked all the way through, but each grain should be intact and a bit al dente. This will take about 25 minutes in total.

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Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the pumpkin, cheese, sage, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Keep stirring with the wooden spoon until the butter melts, then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with sage brown butter and pine nuts if you like, and sprinkle on extra Parmesan at the table. Serves 8 (but you’ll want to make risotto balls with any leftovers).

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