Savory sides take center stage as we head into the year’s end holidays. Try these two recipes and see if you don’t agree.

The white wine adds a deeper flavor to a risotto. Even if you are a non-drinker it is worth it to add the wine.


Pumpkin-Parmesan Risotto

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups uncooked Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh sage

2 to 2 1/2 cups water

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (2 oz.)


1. In a 4-quart heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook and stir 2 minutes. Carefully add wine; cook and stir until liquid is absorbed. Stir in sage.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring the water and broth to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and keep broth mixture simmering. Slowly stir in 1 cup of the broth mixture into rice mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently until most of the liquid is absorbed. Rice should be tender and creamy.

3. Stir in pumpkin and cheese. Cook 1 minute or until heated through, stirring occasionally. If desired, top servings with additional cheese and sage.

Makes four servings at 385 calories each.


Pumpkin Seed Breadsticks

1 13.8 oz. package refrigerated pizza dough

1 egg lightly beaten

2 to 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds coarsely chopped

Coarse salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly grease two large bakings sheets. Unroll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, shape dough into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Brush with some of the egg. Sprinkle with seeds and lightly sprinkle with salt. Using a floured long knife or pizza cutter, cut dough crosswise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide strips.

2. Place strips on prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove, cool on wire racks.

Makes 24 breadsticks at 39 calories each.

(Source: Better Homes & Gardens 100 Best pumpkin Recipes)


Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 25 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.