ripped off recipe for pumpkin squash sage risotto

Ripping off the recipe

Another seasonal promotion at Williams-Sonoma. Stacks of The Pumpkin Cookbook lined the opening display at the entrance. A quick scan yields an interesting possibility: pumpkin and sage risotto, beautifully photographed by the way. But ... we are trying to control our cookbook collection addiction. We'll just drop by again in season and jot down the ingredient list.

Good plan. Poor execution.

We're ten minutes away from the largest retail space mall in America (20th century) and we couldn't get back in time to catch the pumpkin promotion. No problem. They must have a few copies left over in the cookbook department. So the dr bob cooking spy checks it out. And out. And out. Not in any of the W-S topic slots. How could this be? Almost ready to give up, the target item drops into the field of view. Not a W-S topic book after all, but an unrelated cookbook authoring project. The spy doesn't want to be too obvious, so the list is entered into short term memory. Then at a safe distance, it is manually converted into hard copy. On a scrap of paper in the wallet. Except insufficient memory allocation space has led to the loss of half the ingredient list. Another pass. Return to a discrete distance and the list is complete.

The designated pumpkin had already been sitting on the kitchen counter for about a month. Supermarkets are full of them in the Halloween/Thanksgiving season. By the time we get around to the execution, the cookbook is on sale for 5 bucks. At that price what reason is there to not buy? We buy. Our furtive recipe stealing all for naught.

Finally the dish is done. Much anticipation. Looks good. But the flavor was somehow just not in the same league as the original photograph. What a disappointment. Such is life. If you don't try, you don't know. We'll have to try it again with butternut squash. Maybe we can save this yet.


2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 T fresh sage
1 1/2 c arborio rice
2 c pumpkin flesh, diced (or butternut squash)
3 1/2 c boiling veggie broth
1/3 c pine nuts
1/3 c parmigiano
4 T milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


  1. It's the usual story here. Sauté the onion and sage in olive oil until soft, then carefully fuse in the garlic without burning it.
  2. Mix in the rice and pumpkin and stir around for a minute.
  3. Add a cup of broth and simmer. Continue adding broth as it is absorbed until most of the broth is used, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, throw the pine nuts, milk and nutmeg in a blender and process until smooth.
  5. Stir it into the risotto with the final hit of broth and simmer another 5 minutes.
  6. Season to taste and serve.


  1. The Pumpkin Cookbook, edited by Nicola Hill, Hamlyn, 1996, p.26.
pssrsto.htm: 25-jan-2003 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]