Pumpkin Sage Risotto

By Art Smith. Makes 6 servings


  • 1 small (1 3/4 pounds) pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 cups rice for risotto, such as Arborioa
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Spread the squash on a baking sheet and toss with one tablespoon of the oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the stove.

Melt the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or flameproof casserole. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until it turns from translucent to opaque (do not brown), about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Stir the hot broth into the rice, one cup at a time. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the rice absorbs almost all of the broth, about 3 minutes. Stir in another cup of broth, and stir until it is almost absorbed. Repeat, keeping the risotto at a steady simmer and adding more broth as it is absorbed, until you use all the broth and the rice is barely tender, about 20 minutes total. If you run out of broth and the rice isn't tender, use hot water.

Add the squash and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, spooned into bowls and sprinkled with the sage. Pass a bowl of Parmesan cheese on the side.