This is the season of the asparagus, so, let’s run to buy some of them and let’s do something good 🙂
Asparagus can be cooked in many ways, but the best ways are the simple ones, where we are not going to cover too much its delicate taste: this risotto I think it’s one of those 🙂
As you know, there are different kinds of asparagus, in this case the best ones to use are the green asparagus.
We are going to use 3 different pots/pans, so it’s a bit “complicated”, but it is worth in my opinion 🙂
INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 320g rice (Carnaroli or Vialone Nano are the best for risotto in my opinion)
- a bunch of green asparagus (count about 5-6 pieces per person)
- half of a white onion
- 60g butter
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 glass of dry white wine or prosecco (1 deciliter, no more)
- freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- First of all, clean the asparagus: cut the bottom part which is more woody (but don’t throw it away, we need it for the stock), then peel the external part of the asparagus, and then cut them into small pieces, about half centimeter large.
- In one pot, put about 1,5 liters of water to boil and the harder pieces of the asparagus. That’s our stock.
- Now take a pan, add a drizzle of oil and some of butter and cook the asparagus at medium/high heat for just few minutes (4-5), they must remain “crunchy”. Then switch off and keep half of the asparagus aside for later, while the other half we mix it into a cream by using an immersion blender, adding some of the stock to have it not too thick: we will add this cream later to the rice.
- Now chop the onion into very small pieces (not bigger than the grains of rice), then take a “casseruola”, or a high pot, melt some of butter and put the onion to brown gently, at low heat, until it’s soft and transparent (about 10 minutes, take care not to burn the butter).
- Once the onion is ready we have to toast the rice. This operation requires a high temperature, higher than the smoke point of the butter (and onion too), so we have 2 options: or we take a 4th pot where to toast the rice, or we take out the onion and butter from the 3rd pot, and we toast the rice there. I chose the last one 🙂
- So, set aside the onion (keep it for example in a cup) and put the rice in the pot. Now set a higher heat, and turn the rice every about 20-30 seconds, making it to “jump” by using your wrist (take care always, we must toast it, not burn it 😀 ). In 2-3 minutes it should be ready, you’ll see when the grains are shiny/transparent.
- Now that the rice is toasted, add the white wine/prosecco and simmer until reduced. We start counting the time from this moment. When the alcohol has gone, add back the onion and butter that you took out before, and also enough asparagus stock to cover the rice, then set the heat at medium power. And when it’s needed we will keep adding stock until the end.
- After about 10 minutes from the moment we started to count, add the asparagus that we cooked before in the pan and also the asparagus cream, and mix everything well together, slowly and gently with a wooden spoon.
- Now season with salt at your taste, and keep cooking until is ready (15-16 minutes from the first ladle of stock should be enough, but read the time on the package and try always with your mouth).
- When you see that the rice is ready, switch off the heat and put on the top the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the remaining butter (cold) cut into thin slices, wait a minute and then mix and let it “mantecare”, then serve it 🙂
And for a richer twist to this recipe, you can use a good sparkling wine (like this Franciacorta sparkling wine) and you can garnish with a Jamon de Bellota 100% Iberico: