Risotto with Red Beans and Ham; the update

I have to admit I've gotten into the habit of using white beans in most dishes, except chili, of course.

I use different sizes and types of white beans, but they're still, well, white.

I decided it was time to change. (I'm such a risk-taker.)

Red beans, specifically red kidney beans, have a much more assertive flavor than their pale cousins.

I do believe I'm a convert.

Great way to use up some of the Christmas Ham….

Risotto with Red Beans and Ham 

Total time: 30 minutes 


  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped  
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • Condimenti
  • 6oz (175gr) deli or baked ham, cubed
  • 1 cup red kidney beans
  • 1 cup chopped red tomatoes 
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped 
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Risotto with Red Beans and Ham


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. 
  • In medium saucepan heat butter; add 1/2 of the onion and sauté until transparent then add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. 
  • Add white wine and stir. 
  • Start condimenti. 

  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir.  (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) 
  • When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.  Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice.  They should be just 'al dente' – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.  If more stock is needed add it 1 tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.  At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it's shape on a plate. 

  • Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.  It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff. 
  • Condimenti
  • Heat oil in medium skillet.  
  • Add onion and sauté until tender, 6 – 8 minutes. 
  • Add ham and sauté 5 minutes longer. 
  • Add beans, tomatoes and simmer until needed, allowing tomatoes to cook down and thicken. 

Mon mari pointed out that he's been very busy and someone (who shall remain nameless and blameless) has been derelict in the duty of reporting said business.

Someone can cut off the supply of Christmas cookies if such comments don't cease.

(Yes, I have been a blogging slacker lately…. but I've been doing this for seven years. I decided I could be a slacker for one week every seven years. And I control the cookies….)

The update:

We have lights!

Lights are a little tricky in our rooms upstairs.  There's really not room to put ceiling fixtures that hang and the lights that are recessed need to have space around them so as not to over-heat and burn all the lovely insulation.

Which means he has to build a space around them as the insulation is right on the ceiling framework.

Never fear….

It may look a little silly strange now but it will all come together.

He's been taking advantage of the warmer weather to mix cement and do the patching.  

Fortunately, this end of the upstairs is attached to the barn, so the interior wall is in much better shape.

There's still a lot to be done, but not nearly as much as in the first two rooms.

Almost time to start the ceiling! 

And finish the walls…

But, all that's going to wait for a few days.  We're both going to slack off for a wee bit longer.  We have friends coming to visit for a few days and, unless we can convince them that patching walls is really, really, really fun (a la Huck Finn) I think all work will pause for the duration.

Bon weekend!

9 thoughts on “Risotto with Red Beans and Ham; the update”

  1. Happy New Year! It was Tom Sawyer who convinced a friend to help him with his chores, rather than Huck Finn, but we get the point. Enjoy your friends and have a fine New Year’s celebration and a little vacay, as well!

  2. I have joined a bean club and get a variety of beans every month. I also used to use white beans for everything! Now, I am much more adventuresome.

  3. I love red beans. Treat myself every now and then as my hubby is not keen on beans. Happy New Year Katie, I hope you are enjoying your little holiday. Good luck with all that renovation work! xx

  4. Wow, I love the look of this risotto! I’m already a big fan of red beans and rice but we’ve always made them into “Spanish rice” – much drier. Which is delicious too. But suddenly I want this saucier version.
    Now you need to add black beans to your repertoire….
    Happy New Year!

  5. Thanks, Christine!
    Zoomie. I knew that (she says, sheepishly)
    Pam, a bean club – sounds good. I’m somewhat constrained by what I can buy here – which is not a lot LOL
    manningorad, thanks…
    Thanks, Phoenicia…. Hugs
    Tanna, I don’t know why they do, but it’s the same here.
    Colleen, there not a favorite of mine, either, well, he likes them but….
    Elizabeth, I found some black beans in Andorra LOL Soon.l…

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