Prosciutto and Leek Risotto

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Prosciutto and Leek Risotto

Prosciutto and Leek Risotto Makes an Impressive Dish

Prosciutto and Leek Risotto makes an impressive dish on any table.  Risotto, a dish made with arborio rice, is thick and creamy, but basic on it’s own, lending it to just about any flavor you want to add to it.  Caramelized leeks and shallots give Prosciutto and Leek Risotto a beautiful flavor, especially when the rice is cooked in a rich chicken stock.  Prosciutto, cooked crispy like bacon, brings in a salty smoky flavor that bumps the flavor up, but what really tops off this dish is a homemade basil oil that is very simple to make.  The beautiful oil only takes about two minutes to prep, and an hour of resting time, and it is well worth the effort.

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Choosing the Best Ingredients for Prosciutto and Leek Risotto

It was only a couple of years ago that I found leeks, and I was instantly in love.  There is an easy trick to prepping them, as they are grown in sand and tend to have bits of it in the leaves.  Choose leeks that are firm and large, white on the bottom and a dark green on the top.  Cut the tops off just above the white section, then cut into half lengthwise.  Slice into thin half moons and place in a bowl of cool water, swishing to separate the layers.  This washes them and allows the dirt to fall to the bottom of the bowl, so your Prosciutto and Leek Risotto is sand free.  The second ingredient to be caramelized is shallots.  Choose shallots that are firm for the best results.  Arborio rice is the classic choice for Prosciutto and Leek Risotto.  It cooks up creamy and delicious really taking on the flavors that surround it.  It can usually be found with the other rice in your grocery store.  The prosciutto is normally found in the deli, prepackaged and ready to use.  For the basil oil with Prosciutto and Leek Risotto, I used packaged fresh basil from the produce section.  A large packaged worked perfectly and made a fragrant and flavorful oil that topped the dish beautifully.


Prosciutto and Leek Risotto

Prosciutto and Leek Risotto


  • 4 oz basil
  • 1 C olive oil
  • 3 oz prosciutto
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 8 oz shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 leeks, peeled, sliced, and cleaned
  • 2 C arborio rice
  • 8 C chicken stock or water


  1. An hour or so before serving, blanch the basil in boiling water for 15 seconds, then transfer to a bowl of cold water.
  2. Remove to paper towels and pat to dry.
  3. Place in a food processor or blender with ½ C olive oil and puree, adding the remaining olive oil as it blends.
  4. Remove and allow to steep for about an hour. When ready to serve, strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. In a deep saute pan, fry the prosciutto over medium heat until crisp, adding oil if necessary. Remove to paper toweling.
  6. Add to the pan the oil, shallots, and leeks. Saute until they start to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  7. Add the rice and half of the chicken stock, stirring. Increase heat to medium high.
  8. Continue stirring, adding more broth as the rice absorbs it. Continual stirring is necessary to keep the rice from sticking.
  9. Cook the rice until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, adding broth as needed.
  10. When the rice is tender, add the caramelized onions back in and heat through.
  11. To serve, place a portion in a bowl, top with crumbles of prosciutto, and swirl the basil oil around the outside edge.
  12. Serve hot.

Substitutions for Prosciutto and Leek Risotto

If you can’t find some of the ingredients, you can easily substitute in Prosciutto and Leek Risotto.  For instance, while prosciutto has risen to fame in the US in recent years, I know it’s still not available everywhere.  Substitute your favorite bacon, cooked crispy, for the prosciutto.  It will have a slightly different flavor, but it will still be very tasty.  Also, you can substitute green onions for the leeks and Spanish onions for the shallots, if you can’t find them for your Prosciutto and Leek Risotto.

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  1. […] Prosciutto and Leek Risotto – This easy risotto recipe has fantastic flavor and is surrounded by freshly made basil […]

  2. […] was fast to prep and get on the table.  Tender Risotto Cakes were the perfect use.  I used my Prosciutto and Leek Risotto recipe, making it as directed and refrigerating the leftovers.  The next day, I formed it into patties, […]

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