Risotto with Ham & Winter Squash; our new puppy

Normally I would use butternut squash for risotto. It’s easy to peel and easy to cut.

However, this year instead of my usual 25 or 30 butternut squash I have 4.

Instead of my usual 4 small green Hokkaido squash I have 20 large squash. They are not easy to peel or cut. However, I’ve discovered that, after using my trusty cleaver to quarter them, I can then use the cleaver to cut them into small squares and to cut the skin off.

It actually is just as easy as using the vegetable peeler on a butternut squash – once you get the hang of it.

Use whatever squash you have / like for this.

Click here to Pin Risotto with Ham & Winter Squash


Risotto with Ham & Winter Squash

Butternut squash or any winter squash / pumpkin work equally well in risotto.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Risotto


  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken broth
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • Condimenti:
  • 8oz (240gr) ham, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups winter squash, 8oz (240gr), cut into 1/2″ (1cm) cubes
  • 4oz (120gr) mushrooms, trimmed, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil


  • Heat chicken broth and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium sauce pan heat butter; add the 1/2 onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add white wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti.
  • When rice has almost absorbed all the wine add a 1/3 cup of broth, stir. 
  • When broth 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 broth is needed add it a few 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 its 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 very stiff.
  • Condimenti:
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender.
  • Add butternut squash, mushrooms, and sauté until squash is almost cooked through.
  • Add ham, cover and allow to cook over low heat until needed.


  • Risotto is easy – it does not have to be stirred constantlybut do stir from time to time.
  • Risotto is creamy if you don’t over cook it. No need to add extra butter. Let the rice do it’s thing.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 858
  • Sugar: 8.9 g
  • Sodium: 1632.9 mg
  • Fat: 32.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 76.7 g
  • Fiber: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 54.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 149.1 mg

Keywords: risotto, mushrooms, winter squash

Ham & Winter Squash Risotto

If you are just looking for a seasonal side: Mushroom Risotto

The decision, difficult though it was, has been made.

Meet the newest member of our household:


We returned Henry to the rescue society yesterday, after fostering him for a month. The person who collected him said he was always her favorite and she was taking him home.

We decided, as he was the more outgoing pup, he would have an easier time settling into a new home. She explained that, as he had been the runt of the litter, he had been handled more often by humans and exposed to more varied experiences.

We chose to keep Hector because he had been shy and a bit skittish to start. He was finally opening up to us and turning into a more confident pup. He is off to a good start and we think he will suit us very well. He has not left my side – except when he goes in his crate for bedtime.

If we can only get him to understand that dogs barking on the TV are not a threat…..

8 thoughts on “Risotto with Ham & Winter Squash; our new puppy”

  1. I would ‘peel’ the squash the same way I ‘peel’ watermelon. I quarter that, then cut those quarters into pie shaped pieces. I take the knife and cut through the ‘meat’ making small squares but only cut to the rind, then run the knife through the inside of the rind and off pops all the squares. So much easier than trying to do anything else for me. Now that my wrists are breaking down, I have to use easy ways to do things and I can do a watermelon in less than four minutes that way. Surely a squash would be just as easy.

    Dogs barking on the TV! Oh. My!! Beau seems to think they’re all real, even cartoon dogs, and it’s beyond annoying. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not, but no more Dr. Pol for us, no more movies with dogs in them (or cats or rabbits or anything else that’s four legged) and do you know yet how many commercials have animals in them??? It’s unbelievable! He came to us with a shock collar that the rescue used to begin training. I don’t like them, but using just the tone and vibration has made a world of difference with Beau. He’s making progress, but it’s slow…

    • The squash would be easy – as long as it’s not one of those deeply ribbed pumpkins – they go in the oven with the skin on.
      Hector is also diligently protecting me from my stand mixer and my printer. In his efforts to get the printer to behave ha accidently hit the print button and printed out a blank page. I’m amazed we all survived!

  2. That risotto looks delicious and just the thing for a cooler autumn night.

    Before I learned about the wonders of butternut squash, I used acorn squash for this kind of dish. I had to hack and peel off the skin with a smaller knife the same way you managed. (I bet your Hokkaido squashes are much tastier than acorn squashes….)

    Was the result of just 4 butternut squashes by design? Or was it similar to what happened in our garden with the Swiss chard? (Only 2 of the 6 plants produced any leaves at all. And then to add insult to injury, the plants refused to replenish themselves. So disappointing because we LOVE Swiss chard.)

    Hector looks like a lovely dog! Here’s hoping he learns the difference between a recording and actual barking…. (If not, you could always resort to watching TV with close caption and the sound turned off. 😉 )

    (Hoping for a “third time lucky” again. Apparently, the robot thinks I’m a robot too. Alas, both times I keyed in the number to prove I’m a real person, I got redirected to a page saying “This page isn’t working
    If the problem continues, contact the site owner.” )

    • The 4 butternut squash was due to summer weather / drought / heat etc. I planted 4 plants, as always. 2 produced nothing and 2 produced 2. Our summers have been very unreliable for the last few years. We are learning to take what we get and be grateful.

      As to the robot page – I’m assured that the issue is fixed every time I contact them to fix it. I believe there is a contest of wills between 2 groups of techs who are blaming each other for the problem. I am not grateful to be on the receiving end…..

      • This is similar to what happened with our Swiss chard. We have TONS of rain at the beginning of the summer, as well as a very cool spring. Then it turned poisonously hot (but still a fair amount of rain). The chard suddenly started growing and looking happy around the middle of October. Sigh. Just in time for the hard frost at the end of October.

        I wonder if the 2 groups of techs might have robots as their leaders. Or perhaps all of at least one group is robots only. (copying for pasting, just in case)


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share via
Copy link