Asparagus Risotto, Risotto agli Asparagi

This is especially good in June, when asparagus is at its freshest. Though I generally use green asparagus, you could use wild asparagus, or — for a different color cast — either white or purple asparagus.

  • 1 pound (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 enough beef broth or vegetable bouillon to make 1 quart, simmering
  • Salt and white pepper

Set a pot of water to boil, and while it is heating clean the asparagus.

Loosely tie the bunch of asparagus together, set it upright in the boiling water, and cook it for a few minutes, 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 bouillon.

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, about 5 minutes.

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.

Yield: 4-6 servings asparagus risotto.

How to make risotto, illustrated.

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Categories: Vegetarian Risotti

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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