This recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegan. For additional flavor, you could use butter in place of the olive oil and add a sprinkle of goat cheese or parmesan, if desired.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add in the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Then turn the heat up to medium, add in the broth and bring to a simmer. Next slowly add in the polenta while stirring constantly, and bring it to a simmer again.
Turn the heat back down to low and add in the pumpkin, thyme, sage, paprika, salt and pepper, and stir. Cook the polenta while stirring occasionally until done.
Scoop the polenta into 4 bowls, and then top it with the Roasted Balsamic Beets and pepper.
Cooking times and liquid amounts will vary depending on the kind of polenta you are using - read your package instructions and adjust accordingly.
Roasting your own pumpkin using pie pumpkins for fresh purée is best.