Winter squash, prosciutto and sage risotto

The Pacific Northwest was good to us last week.

The crisp air of autumn had not yet arrived in Florida and I found myself becoming more and more irritable as I kept seeing images of falling leaves and apple trees elsewhere as I continued to escape the excessive heat.

I needed a change and a trip to Seattle was just the antidote. This is a hard time of year for me because I become very nostalgic for the season I loved in my youth – its distinct spicy smells and the noise of crunching leaves under my boots. Silly and a bit romantic, I know, but so powerful in my spirit.

I was in Seattle to present my book to old readers and new friends. I walked in the cold rain in such happiness and so did Jon and Miren. We explored city parks (so many in Seattle!), went apple picking, took the ferry across the Sound, and ate lots of comfort foods.

It felt like home.

But just like that, when we returned home to Florida…

… autumn arrived.

The temperatures dropped overnight.

It’s here!” Jon shouted. We opened the windows that had been closed for months and let the outside in. It’s a powerful thing.

We have been cooking nourishing and cozy foods everyday. A bit obsessed with pho ever since I had an amazing bowl in Seattle, I tried my hand a several versions. I cannot get enough at the moment.

And then there is this winter squash, prosciutto and sage risotto that I originally wrote for Anthropologie’s magazine. I have made it twice in the last few days and delicious risotto cakes with the leftovers.

Any winter squash will work: butternut, kabocha, red kuri, calabaza… All of those on my kitchen table at the moment. “Are you collecting pumpkins?” a friend asked. “They will be cooked or baked in matter of days. You will see

I have a long list of recipes ahead of me and grand plans that involve squash.

As it should be.


I am very thankful for the good reviews Small Plates and Sweet Treats has been receiving. Here are some things friends and fellow bloggers have been saying…

oh, and some of them even share recipes from the book…

Winter Squash Risotto with Prosciutto, Sage and Lemon

Serves 4 To 6

Sage and Lemon-Infused Olive Oil
½ cup + 2 tbsp (155 ml) olive oil
8 sage leaves
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
½ tsp lemon zest
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add sage and let it infuse the oil. When the oil starts to form bubbles and the sage begins to curl, remove pan from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the mix to a blender, add remaining oil, parsley and lemon zest, and blend until smooth. Strain the mix through a fine sieve and reserve.

Risotto
1 lb (450 g) winter squash, peeled, seeded and diced into ½-inch cubes
pinch of salt and black pepper
6 slices prosciutto or Serrano ham
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 medium leek, sliced (white and green parts)
6 cups (1.5 liters) chicken stock
1 1/2 cups (300 g) Arborio rice
1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine
1 ounce (30 g) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 ounce (30 g) mascarpone cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F (200C). Toss squash in a baking pan with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender and the edges start to caramelize. Remove pan from oven and reserve. Cook prosciutto until crispy in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once cooled, chop, crumble and reserve prosciutto. Heat chicken stock in a pot over medium heat.

Heat another large-pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, shallot and leeks, and cook until tender (not brown), about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice and stir. Add roasted squash (reserve ½ c for topping) and stir. Add white wine and cook until it evaporates and is absorbed. Add 1 c of the hot stock and stir constantly until absorbed. Add another ladle of hot stock and stir. Repeat the process until the rise is cooked al dente, 20 to 22 minutes.

Remove pot from heat, add Parmesan, mascarpone, prosciutto and half of the sage-lemon oil. Stir until well incorporated. Serve risotto immediately, topped with roasted squash and drizzle of sage-lemon oil.


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60 Responses to “Winter squash, prosciutto and sage risotto”

  1. Stunning photos as always! This recipe has my tastebuds tingling and I will definitely be pinning it to make soon! The oil sounds delicious too, I have been wanting to make some flavoured oils for a while now (is the reference to clam and mussels meant to be there?) Congrats on all the positive feedback on your book – well deserved!

  2. Teresa says:

    This recipe looks delicious! I too long & become restless for my childhood autumns & winters. After living a year in Florida, I still cannot seem to adjust to the weather. It’s comforting to know, that another Floridian, also craves the cool crisp autumn air. This past week has been beautiful weather & I feel like my old self again. This recipe will only add to the joy. Thank you!

  3. MikeVFMK says:

    Beautiful recipe, Aran. As I’m sure all the recipes are. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book and start cooking from it. It will give my family comfort and joy through the months and years to come!

  4. Manoli says:

    I understand the nostalgia during this season. I´m back home in Cataluña now, and this is the best season. We start looking at the sky by the end of summer and begin asking for rain just so that we can go pick up the first wild mushrooms. We had yesterday some mashed potatoes with sauteed milkcups, garlic and parsley, and I could hardly speak or look up during lunch. It is a spiritual experience. The earthy flavours! I can never get enough of autumn.

  5. Emma says:

    Your photos are beautiful – my mouth is watering!

  6. Buenissimo! Love those pics and sounds increible.
    Saludos, Mary

  7. Elisa says:

    Beautiful Photos and delicious recipe for sure! Here in Rome too autumn has just arrived overnight, and a cozy risotto is just what we’re craving here right now…
    Sorry for the silly question: what is “c” for in the recipe ingredients? I’ve never come across that abbreviation before…
    Thank you!
    Elisa

  8. On my list – sounds perfect for the change of seasons – and I just made some wild Canada Goose confit that would go with it perfectly!
    :)
    Valerie

  9. Eva Linda says:

    Oh!!! It look yummy!!! This recipe would look perfect in our blog Global Kitchen. We invite you to let us link it in the blog.
    http://cocina-global.blogspot.es/

  10. Sini says:

    As I love risotto and squash this seems like the perfect dish for this weekend. I’m so happy for your success with the cookbook! It seems like it’s all over the blogosphere receiving amazing reviews. Can’t wait to get it so I can cook some delicious meals and treats from it :)

  11. Shelby says:

    Wow…what breathtaking photographs that have gotten me so excited for autumn cooking! Lovely memories and a beautiful post… thank you!

  12. bego says:

    Arantzazu: Miren y sus vestimentas… siempre en equilibrio.
    Y la family…. ya sabes…incondicional y entusiasta

    • Aran says:

      Miren me va a tener firme y con los pelos en punta, pero eso tambien es necesario. Y la familia… Lo mejor que tengo sin duda. Y sin ella, no tendria nada de esto. Eskerrik asko eta gora euskadi.

  13. bego says:

    Y… la calabaza, aunque sosa, siempre acompaña en Otoño…

    Lo mejor, los hongos… Que Txomin , Iña y Vladi me regalaron…. Y que no pienso compartir con quien no los aprecian… todos para mí..

  14. bego says:

    Arantzazu: Creo que los hongos necesitan un capítulo especial..

  15. aran…loved meeting you and will look forward to fun dinners in seattle… xx pam

  16. Ginger G says:

    … and what a fun time meeting you at New Day Northwest and getting your beautiful book which you so kindly autographed. So sorry that I was on the same ferry going back to Bainbridge Island as you and your family and didn’t realize it until I saw picture and tweet. What fun it would have been visiting with you and pointing out fun places on the island. Trying to decide which recipe to try first – the clafoutis I sampled at the show was delicious. Thank you!

  17. What a brilliant blog!! I love it! Wonderful recipes and idea i will be using for inspiration!

  18. My parcel with two of your books (one for my mother for Xmas) arrived today and I am loving reading it. The photos are inspirational and the recipes intriguing. I must seek out those different flours because I really need to try gluten-free in a serious way.

  19. Carmen says:

    Pasado mañana nos vamos tres semanas de vacaciones y tengo ganas de volver si, volver una por mi ni^na que se queda aqui con los abuelos pero tambien por tu libro que estara a la vuelta!! que ganas de verlo!!
    Creo que te gustaria suiza…montañas, manzanas, mucha naturaleza, muchos arboles, cambios de estacion y lluvia!!

  20. Wow, that looks delicious!! I grew up in Seattle and I definitely miss it this time of year…and don’t even get me started on pho (greatest thing ever!). Can’t seem to find a good bowl of pho here in Berlin, so I’ve been messing around with different recipes as well. Let me know if you come up with a good one!

  21. valerie s. says:

    Just bought lots of squash, haven’t made risotto in so long. Thanks for the idea!

  22. Jenny says:

    Aran, what a lovely recipe! Is it safe to assume that risotto is a gluten free product? Perdona mi ignorancia por favor.

  23. Jenny says:

    Oh one more question! I can’t seem to find any recipes with plantains in your book or website… Is it not a staple ingredient in the Basque Country? Again pardon my ignorance!

    • Aran says:

      Risotto is made with rice which doesn’t contain gluten. And no, no plantain recipes. We don’t have them in the Basque Country. That’s a tropical weather fruit. Thanks.

      • Jenny says:

        That makes sense. I’ve never been there but it sure sounds lovely. Thanks again for your kind responses. It is such a treat to read your book. I love the pictures and the stories.

  24. This recipe sounds delicious and I am certainly going to try it out. My mouth is watering after reading the recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Stefanie says:

    Moving away, after having grown up in the Northeast, I make an extra effort to connect myself with those wonderful Autumn days of my childhood. Nothing helps me do that better than a fragrant, beautiful, comforting dish like the one you’ve shared.
    Continue savoring these special moments of book success, Aran! We’re all cheering for you!

  26. Tiffany says:

    I need to make this ASAP. Wow, you put all of my favorite things (risotto, butternut squash, prosciutto) in one dish. FABULOUS!

  27. Sini says:

    Oh this was heavenly good. First time I made risotto with mascarpone. A keeper for the colder getting days.

  28. Iratxe says:

    ¡Delicioso Aran, qué pinta tiene este risotto y qué color tiene la calabaza!. A mi ama le encanta la calabaza asada y hace unos purés riquísimos. Los risottos nos gustan mucho y este con calabaza cae fijo en casa. ¡Me alegro un montón del éxito de tu libro, me lo he pedido para reyes!. Preciosas fotos. Muxuak,

    http://www.cocinaamiga.com

  29. Angela Dellutri says:

    This looks so good, I think I’ll make some this week.

  30. I just love your book – am reading it thoroughly section by section and can’t wait to try some of the recipes. Just wanted to let you know you are appreciated!

  31. Tatiana says:

    Hello Aran,

    I have been following you for a few years and have tried some of your recipes both at home and work with great results. I am in the “autumn” of your book and would like to try some gluten free but having some trouble finding the ingredients. I’m on Palm Beach island and the Publix here only carries brown rice flour and xanthum gum. Where do you purchase teff flour and all the other specialty ingredients? And can I still use Brown Rice flour in substitute for super fine or will it have a different texture?

    Thanks for the great work
    Tatiana

    • Aran says:

      Hello Tatiana,

      So exciting that you are cooking your way through autumn :)

      You can find some GF flours at Publix but I usually shop at Whole Foods. They have all the Bob’s Red Mill flours – teff flour too. It;s in palm Beach Gardens, not too far.

      You can use brown rice flour instead of superfine brown rice flour but I find the texture of the superfine so much nicer – not as gritty. You can order it online. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions!

      Aran

  32. Melissa says:

    This sounds incredible Aran. I have quite a collection of winter squash as well so this will be the perfect recipe to try. Thanks!

  33. Lucy says:

    I love visitng your site for inspiration & fab receipes – one quick question is that you mentioned you make rissotto cakes with the leftovers – how do you do this?

    • Aran says:

      Hi Lucy,

      Made them the other day again. It’s simple. About 2 cups of leftover risotto mixed with 1 lightly beaten egg, 1/4 cup of GF panko-style breadcrumbs and I usually add more fresh herbs (this time chives). I let this sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then I form the cakes. Coat them with a bit more breadcrumbs. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a non-stick saute pan, cook the cakes until crispy on both sides. Simple!

      Hope you try it.

      Aran

  34. Hi Aran,

    I just stumbled across your website. Your work is stunning. I absolutely love your photos and recipes! Can’t wait to give them a try!
    Thank you,
    Andris

  35. My english is poor but i LOVE yours pics, your recipes and LoVE your book !!! So beautiful !

  36. Sandra says:

    Aran

    I must be the most excited South African this morning as I have just received my copy of your beautiful book. You inspire me to be a better cook and a better photographer. Congratulations on your achievements. You are truly and amazing person!

    Love

    Sandra

  37. This looks really really delicious, as good as an Italian risotto!!!

  38. Quintessential Autumn comfort food for the foodie. Gorgeous! Can’t wait to try this recipe in my own little kitchen.
    xo
    s.

  39. Mariah says:

    Thank you for all the effort you put into making such beautiful pictures and posting them for all to see. This recipe sounds delicious, I can hardly wait to try it!!

  40. […] Winter Squash Procciutto and Sage Risotto// Cannelle et Vanille […]

  41. Angela says:

    Made the recipe! Everyone loved it. Thanks so much for a good meal :)

  42. nusrat2010 says:

    Such a comforting feast for my eyes and soul !
    Absolutely glamorous pictures along with an insanely gorgeous recipe :)

    You’re such a treasure!

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