Leek & Ham Risotto

One of the cookbooks my boyfriend brought with him when we recently moved in together is an entire book of risotto and rice recipes. As you can imagine, I am in heaven. I found a recipe for Leek & Ham risotto in that cookbook, but in the end I really just made my standby Risotto alla Milanese and added leek, ham, and fresh thyme. Enjoy!

Leek & Ham Risotto
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min (ish)
Serves 6 (as a main course)

2 tbsp margarine or oil
2 leeks, finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2-3 cups smoked ham, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1.5 cups  arborio, or other short-grain Italian rice
4 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano – I presume this is Parmesan cheese; in either case, that it what I use
Fresh thyme, to taste (I used approx 1-2 tsp)

Heat broth in medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling; keep hot.

Meanwhile, saute leek in 2 tbsp butter in a large pot for 3 minutes, until translucent and soft. Add ham and mushrooms, saute for another 3-5 minutes. Stir in rice and cook over medium until edges are translucent for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth, and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring every couple of minutes. Add 1 cup broth and keep cooking until absorbed; repeat until rice is al dente but not raw. Stir in thyme.

When the rice is ready, stir in cheese. Add any remaining broth until desired consistency is reached. Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper if desired, and serve.

For a basic risotto recipe, click here.

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