This creamy rich pasta dish is the perfect vehicle to showcase one of Spring's vegetables.
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
One of the great things about this recipe is you can choose how you want to cook your asparagus. It’s important to cook it before adding it the risotto; otherwise you will have raw asparagus. My favorite way to cook the asparagus is to toss it generously with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Spread it out in a single layer on a sheet pan, then broil in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. You can also grill it. Probably the easiest way to cook the asparagus is to blanch it. This is a fancy word for bringing a large pot of water to boil, then adding asparagus and cooking it for about 2 minutes. Drain the blanched asparagus and set aside.
Once you’ve decided how to cook the asparagus, the next step is to prepare the Arborio rice. This is usually a good time to rally any available children to help. What better way to bond with your kids, than while taking turns stirring the risotto?
Bring chicken broth to simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep broth warm.
Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir 3 minutes.
Add dry white wine and cook until liquid evaporates. Keep stirring rice, and add the warm chicken broth 1 cup at a time. When the rice seems to soak up the broth completely, it’s time to add another cup of broth. Stir the rice constantly the entire time. The rice mixture will become more creamy with each addition of broth. It should take about 20 minutes to add all the broth.
Add asparagus pieces and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 6 tablespoons butter and stir until incorporated. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.