Ham and Rosemary Risotto

Ham and Rosemary Risotto. Linda Larsen
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

What could make risotto better? Add ham and rosemary! This fresh tasting and beautiful dish is perfect for Christmas and Easter leftovers or just when you feel like making something different. And it's easy to make too. Just keep stirring, and in about 30 minutes you'll have a fabulous dinner. 

I used fresh rosemary in this recipe (don't use dried rosemary, please; the little shards just don't soften when cooking), but you can use thyme or oregano or basil if you'd like. Another cheese would also be delicious. Some shredded Swiss or Havarti would be a nice addition to the Parmesan cheese.

This risotto is really is a one dish meal, so all you need to add is a green or fruit salad and perhaps some toasted garlic bread. For dessert, a bakery pie (or a homemade pie) or some brownies would be delicious. Add a glass of white wine for the perfect meal for family or company.

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5-1/2 cups chicken broth, warmed
  • 2 cups chopped fully cooked ham
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen baby peas
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

Place the chicken broth in a heavy saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Adding warm broth to the risotto makes it creamier and also reduces the cooking time, since the broth doesn't have to heat and cook the rice at the same time.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes; don't let them brown.

Stir the rice into the onion mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes longer until some grains begin to look translucent. Add 1 cup chicken broth; cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed.

Then start adding more broth, one cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice is al dente. This should take about 20 minutes. Taste the rice to see if it is well cooked.

When the rice is almost done, stir in the ham and peas; continue cooking, stirring frequently.

When the rice is al dente, which is tender, but firm in the center, add the rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Give it all a final stir and serve immediately.