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by Denise Landis (The New York Times Company, 2005)


I worked with Denise Landis on the NewYork Times when I wrote a food column for its Dining section so I know how thorough, reliable and trustworthy she is in the kitchen and this book conveys these helpful qualities admirably. I really could have chosen any of the recipes by way of illumination but this Make-Ahead Risotto with Sage and Prosciutto just demanded to be showcased here!

Make-Ahead Risotto with Sage and Prosciutto

This recipe takes advantage of a trick used by professional chefs: Partially cook the risotto ahead of time and finish the recipe when it is needed. This recipe is finished with sage and prosciutto, but you may wish to substitute other chopped herbs and sauteed vegetables or meats.


For the Risotto:

  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and minced
  • 4 cups Arborio rice

 To Finish:

  • About 6 cups chicken stock
  • 28 leaves fresh sage
  • 4 collard green leaves, trimmed and rib removed, torn into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare the risotto: In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Lower the heat and keep the stock at a simmer.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the rice and stir until it is evenly coated with butter.

3. Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add the hot stock, 2/3 cup at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the rice absorbs the liquid, 4 to 5 minutes after each addition. When all the stock has been absorbed, remove the risotto from the heat. Immediately pour onto a baking sheet to stop the cooking and cool as quickly as possible; the rice grains will still be a bit raw in the center. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled and then transfer to a covered container. The partially cooked risotto may be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

4. To finish: In a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock with the sage and collard greens. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and keep at a simmer.

5. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and stir in the risotto until it is warm. Add about ½ cup stock (do not include the sage or collard greens), stirring until the stock is absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat until all the stock has been absorbed. Add the prosciutto with the final addition of stock. Adjust the amount of stock as needed; the risotto should be very creamy and the rice grains tender but firm. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.


Wines: Beaujolais-Villages, Valpolicella, Nebbiolo d'Alba, Vernaccia di Oristano

(as recommended by J.D. Landis)