Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Creamy Risotto with Burrata and Speck Ham

The creaminess and sweetness of Burrata cheese burrata-cheese and the savouriness of Speck Ham, are perfectly balanced in this risotto, with an aromatic and gentle final touch from white pepper as it is sweeter and gentler than black pepper, and in this risotto it just seemed to fit perfectly. It is still pepper yet less pungent, more suitable for delicate flavours.

Speck Ham or just Speck, is a dry-cured ham produced in the Italian Alps of Northern Südtirol/Alto Adige region, that undergoes a delicate smoking process on aromatic wood, which confer an intense colour and a light smoked flavour to it.

Serves 4, Preparation 10 mins, Cooking about 20 mins

  • Carnaroli or Arborio rice, 320 g
  • Apulian Burrata, fresh stretched curd cheese with buttery creamy heart, 500 g
  • Italian Speck Ham, diced or striped, 100 g otherwise Smoked Pancetta
  • Half a red onion, chopped
  • Unsalted butter, a knob
  • 1 tablespoon of EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Hot vegetable broth, 1,5 litre
  • Dry white wine, half a glass
  • White pepper, a sprinkle


Prepare the vegetable broth with carrot, celery, onion in plenty of water, salted to taste. Otherwise use stock cube to dissolve in boiling water.
In both cases, keep the broth very hot as it will be used to cook risotto.

Fry Speck strips in a tablespoon of EVOO. Set aside.

Melt a knob of butter in a large saucepan, as soon as it has melted, sauté the chopped onion and allow it to soften.

Add the rice and toast it.

Tip: Toasting time varies depending on the rice used, generally takes 2 to 5 minutes.

Stir the rice continuously while toasting with a wooden spoon to prevent the rice from sticking or burning.

Raise the heat and add the half glass of dry white wine, allow it to evaporate and stir, then add a ladleful of hot broth, stir again. Add hot broth a little at time without letting the rice become too dry.

Halfway through the cooking time, add half of the fried Speck and half of Burrata. Stir again and mix well on low heat.

Once Risotto is cooked, turn off the heat and add the rest of fried Speck, add the remaining part of Burrata which in the meantime will melt with the heat of the risotto, and a sprinkling of white pepper. Serve.

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