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Try this savory pumpkin risotto on a cold day

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With a plethora of organic pumpkin puree left over after the holidays, the question in this cook's kitchen became, "What to do with it all?"

The answer is this: a creamy, delicious pumpkin risotto. At first glance, the thought of pumpkin puree in a risotto seems, strange. Nevertheless, trust in the brilliance that the pumpkin brings to the risotto. Not only will you end up with a velvety, savory comfort food that will warm you on a cold winter evening, but with much of the U.S. in a deep freeze right now, what could be better?

What you will need:

· 2 tablespoons olive oil

· 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

· 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

· 1 cup Arborio rice

· 1/4 cup white wine

· 5 cups vegetable stock

· 1 cup raw pumpkin puree (canned puree will work too; just make sure it doesn't have any spices in it.)

· 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

· Grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, to taste

· Salt and pepper, to taste

What to do:

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until the onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add rice to the pan and stir with a plastic or wooden spoon to coat.

2. Add white wine to the pan and stir constantly while the wine evaporates and is absorbed by the rice. Slowly stir in one cup of the vegetable stock and stir frequently. Allow rice to absorb the stock and repeat until all five cups have been incorporated into the rice.

3. Stir in the pumpkin puree and season with nutmeg. Heat the mixture through. The consistency of the rice should be al dente: chewy but tender. Most of the liquid should be absorbed into the risotto.

4. When serving, shave or grate some fresh Parmesan over the top of the dish and salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot.

This dish is very filling and guaranteed to satisfy. It is even better reheated as the flavors will meld and add character to the dish as it sits. Bon appetit!

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