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Pumpkin and Sage Risotto

This is a delicious, nutritious and easy fall treat that kids who like to stir will enjoy helping make. Pumpkin and squash are just coming into season and are loaded with autumnal flavor as well as iron, riboflavin and vitamins A and C. This dish does nicely on its own, or can be served as an elegant accompaniment for roasted chicken or braised lamb. Enjoy!

Makes 8 servings

1 butternut squash

¼ cup olive oil

½ onion, small dice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup arborio rice

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 cups chicken or veggie stock

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

4 sage leaves, cut into very thin strips

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Rub squash with half of the oil. Roast at 350 degrees until soft. Cool, remove skin and chop roughly. Reserve.

In a medium-sized saucepan, saute onion and garlic in remaining olive oil over low heat until translucent and softened.

Add rice to pan and toast briefly with onions and garlic.

Add balsamic vinegar and stir rice constantly until the moisture is mostly gone.

Begin adding stock about ¾ cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is again mostly absorbed. Repeat until all stock is incorporated -- or really until rice is creamy and tender.

When the rice appears finished, add your roasted squash and sage. Give the dish time to heat back up, then remove from heat, stir in cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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