Risotto with Ham & Winter Squash

Squash & Ham Risotto

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


Keywords: risotto, mushrooms, winter squash

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