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Pumpkin Risotto
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

8 cups chicken stock,
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine at room temperature
1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 sage leaves for garnish

In a large soup kettle, heat the stock to a simmer and maintain over low heat.

Heat the oil in another large deep saucepan. Add the onion and sauté for 4 minutes or until the onion is softened.  Add the rice and stir for an additional 4 minutes or until each grain is well coated with oil and is translucent, with a white dot in the center.  Add the white wine and stir constantly until it is totally absorbed.
Add the simmering stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly after each addition.  Wait until the broth is completely absorbed, but never allow the rice to become dry on top.  After third addition of broth add the pumpkin cubes and sage.  Continue adding the broth for about 20 minutes.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the broth to add at the end.

When the rice is al dente (almost tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center) and looks creamy, remove from the heat and stir in the reserved broth, the butter, and the Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into 4 warm soup plates and garnish each with a sage leaf.

Serve immediately.

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