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Asparagus Risotto - Risotto agli Asparagi

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

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Asparagus risotto is especially good in June, when asparagus is at its freshest. Most Italians use green asparagus, but if you have white asparagus, it is nice too.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1pound (500 g) asparagus
  • 1/2 a small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) short-grained rice along the lines of Arborio
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, or: 1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, warmed
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano
  • The water the asparagus was cooked in, topped off with beef broth or vegetable bouillon to make 1 quart, simmering
  • Salt and white pepper

Preparation:

Clean and boil the asparagus for a few minutes (use an asparagus pot if you have one), or until a fork easily penetrates the tip of a spear. Use tongs to remove the asparagus from the water. Trim the tips from the stalks and set them aside. Cut the remaining green part of the stalks into one-inch lengths and set them aside too. Return the white ends of the stocks to the pot, along with the broth or bullion.

Sauté the onion in half the butter or the oil, and when it's translucent, remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon. Next, stir in the rice and sauté, stirring, until the grains have turned translucent, 5-7 minutes.

Return the sauteed onions to the pot, stir in the warmed wine, and cook until it has evaporated. Then add the one-inch lengths of green asparagus stem to the rice, and begin stirring in the liquid, a ladle full at a time. Should a white stem find its way into the pot, remove it.

Continue adding liquid, and when the rice is almost done, stir in half the reserved tips. Check seasoning and continue cooking the rice till it's al dente. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining butter and half the grated cheese. Let the risotto stand covered for two minutes, then transfer it to a serving dish and garnish it with the remaining tips. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over it and serve.

The wine? Asparagus works best with whites, and I would go for a Roero Arneis, or perhaps a Lugana.

Yield: four to six servings asparagus risotto.

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