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Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus can be included in a meal in so many different ways. 

One of my favorites is asparagus risotto, a truly Italian dish if there ever was one.  The Italians are wild about their asparagus risotto almost to the point of religious.  When I attended culinary school in Italy all of my chef instructors had their own personal way with this dish.  Of course each insisted that their way was the TRUE Italian way of asparagus risotto.

Here’s one of the versions taught at the Apicius International School of Culinary Arts in Florence.

When making this dish you need some ingredient suggestions:

Use unsalted butter.

Use true imported Parmesan Reggiano (or if you must use domestic go with Belgioso, just use a little more of it as the flavor is mild) be sure to grate the parmesan yourself.

Asparagus Risotto

5 cups chicken broth, Suggestion is Swanson’s Organic

3 tbl extra virgin olive oil

1 med onion, very small dice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup aborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 lb asparagus, cleaned and cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup  parmesan reggiano

4 tbl unsalted butter, softened

Salt to taste

Place broth in pot and heat to almost boiling

While broth is heating place oil in large skillet and heat to medium, add onions and a little salt.  Sweat onions until they are very soft, do not brown!  Add garlic to onions for the last couple of minutes, stir often.

Add the rice and “toast” for about 3 minutes, stirring. This does not mean to brown the rice.

Deglaze with the white wine and allow to evaporate almost completely.

Now you can begin adding the broth about 1 cup at a time.  After adding some broth be sure to stir to fully incorporate.  Liquid should be bubbling slightly.  As broth absorbs into rice add another cup and stir again.

After you have added all but about 1/2 cup of the broth add the butter and parmesan cheese, stir well. Taste for proper salt balance at this time, add a little more if needed.

Add the asparagus and fold in. Add the last of the broth and gently stir, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes while the asparagus cooks, thicker asparagus may need another minute or two. Consistency should be thick but very creamy and light in color.

Serve and enjoy,


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