Leek Risotto with Pan Fried Coppa

I’ve been making risottos for about ten years now and this one is a new favorite. Risotto used to really intimidate me but once I realized how easy it is to make it became a staple in my house. I love experimenting with different flavor combinations and this one is absolutely divine. Leek, parsley, garlic and parmesan provide a fabulous but simple flavor to the risotto which allows our pan fried coppa to really shine and bring in texture and a savory punch. It’s just so good. While risotto is an easy dish it is time consuming. It takes about an hour from beginning to end (including the quick prep work) but it’s a pretty low maintenance dish as it spends a lot of time simmering. You need to check in on it and be around to stir, but you can also take a few minutes away in the simmering stage and it will be okay.

As always I like to keep things short and simple here – you’re here for the recipe not a story so let’s get to it. If there’s any questions I’m always happy to answer them in the comments <3 

How I Made This Baby Friendly

To serve this to my 12 month old I made a few tweaks for her. I used a low sodium stock in the base and didn’t add additional salt until after serving her plate. I did include black and red pepper in her portion which you can do if your child will eat moderate spice. I also left the coppa off of her plate to avoid additional sodium and because I haven’t started giving her any cured meats. Of course what you serve your child is your choice, these are just the modications I followed using knowledge from Solid Starts on how to cook for a toddler. I love risottos for family meals because the always feel so decadent and fun to me for dinner but are super easy for baby led weaning. My daughter has been eating risottos from early on and it’s perfect as she can easily eat with her hands due to the way it sticks together, or, you can mash little bites onto baby utensils and it doesn’t fall off super easy. For parents not comfortable with baby led weaning risotto is a great transition into chunkier textures without having any large pieces that are high choking hazards.

Leek Risotto with Pan Fried Coppa


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio/risotto rice
  • 2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup shredded or grated parmesan
  • 6 slices coppa (capocollo salami)
  • salt & pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Heat a large deep skillet or pan over medium heat.
  • While pan heats quarter your leek length wise into four long thinner strips and then cut strips into smaller than 1/4" segments so you end up with the leek fully chopped.
    1 leek
  • Add in butter & oil until butter is melted and then add in chopped leek, parsley & minced garlic. Stir a few minutes until leek and parsley is softened and garlic is fragrant.
    1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 handful parsley, chopped, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 1 leek
  • Add in arborio/risotto rice and cook another few minutes to slightly toast the rice and allow veggies to further soften.
    1 cup arborio/risotto rice
  • Add in the vinegar and turn heat up for a minute to deglaze pan and fully cook the vinegar out.
    2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • Add in one cup of your stock and turn heat down to medium low, about 30% and stir occassionally until liquid is fully absorbed. Add in another cup and repeat until all 4 cups are soaked in. This will take a good 20-30 minutes.
    4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • While your watching over and occassionaly stirring the risotto, heat a skillet over medium high heat to crisp the coppa. If you have cast iron I recommend using it here, but if not any skillet will work. Once skillet is hot add in slices of coppa and cook a few minutes before flipping. Remove from pan and lay on a paper towel to cool and soak up excess fat (if desired).
    6 slices coppa (capocollo salami)
  • Add in milk, parmesan & a pinch of salt & pepper to risotto. Stir and cook another minute or two. Taste test if you want to add in more seasoning.
    1/2 cup whole milk, 2/3 cup shredded or grated parmesan, salt & pepper
  • Crumble the crispy coppa.
  • Serve risotto topped with red pepper flakes if desired and finally with crumbled coppa.
    red pepper flakes (optional)

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