Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 1 hour
5 cups 1-inch cubes pumpkin flesh
6 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 / 4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage or rosemary
1 1 /2 cups arborio or other short-grain rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 / 2 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
1 / 2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 / 4 cup thinly sliced almonds or chopped pistachios
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pumpkin; boil until soft, 15-20 minutes. Drain the pumpkin and purée until smooth in a blender or food processor.
2. Put 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, nutmeg and herbs, and continue cooking another minute or so; do not brown.
3. Add 2 tablespoons butter or oil; raise the heat to medium-high and add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; stir in the wine and let most of it bubble away.
4. Begin adding the pumpkin purée and stock alternately, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring after each addition. When the liquid is just about evaporated, add more; the consistency should not be soupy or dry. Stir frequently.
5. Taste the rice about 20 minutes after you add it. You want it to be tender but still have some crunch; this can take up to 30 minutes. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and stir in the remaining butter or oil and Parmesan; taste and adjust the seasoning. Heat a dry skillet and add the nuts; toast until fragrant. Sprinkle the risotto with toasted nuts and more freshly grated Parmesan; serve.