PUMPKIN SAGE RISOTTO WITH WILD MUSHROOMS
1 small pie pumpkin (also known as sugar pumpkin)
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1⁄2 cup dry white wine plus 1 tablespoon for mushrooms
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1⁄4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and ground pepper to taste
8 ounces wild mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds and place cut-side down on baking sheet lined with lightly oiled parchment paper. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Allow pumpkin to cool. Scrape pumpkin from skin, mash pumpkin and discard the skin. Set pumpkin aside.
Heat chicken stock in saucepan until barely simmering. In a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallot and sauté until soft. Add rice, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add 1⁄2 cup wine and cook, stirring, until wine is nearly absorbed. Add chicken stock, about 1⁄2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring after each addition until stock is nearly absorbed. When 2 cups of stock has been added, add pumpkin (you should have about 1-–1 1⁄2 cups mashed pumpkin). Add remaining stock 1⁄2 cup at a time (you may not need it all) until rice is creamy but still al dente (total cooking time is about 20 minutes). Stir in scallion, sage and Parmesan.
While risotto is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in small sauté pan over medium-high heat. When butter is bubbling, add mushrooms. Sauté, stirring until they are soft. Add 1 tablespoon wine and cook until all wine has evaporated. Remove from heat.
Spoon mushrooms over risotto, top with pumpkin seeds and Parmesan curls; serve immediately. Serves 4.
-Mary Brown Malouf