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:
8 Comments Add yours
It looks amazing!
Alia | a.1o.out
It is! 😀 hi Alina, thank you! 🙂
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I’ve never thought to make the asparagus puree, nor have I even heard of removing the cooked onion from the pot so that you can toast the rice at a higher temperature. I will show this recipe to my husband (from Milan), he is the risotto cook in the house. I cannot compete as his is the italian in the house!
Hi Rowena 🙂 you can do it also without the puree, just in my opinion it gives a more intense taste of asparagus 🙂 about the technique of removing the onion and/or toasting the rice apart, it’s a thing that good chefs do, because a real toasting happens, as I said, at 220/240 °C…but at home most of people don’t do this, neither my mom or grandmother 🙂 but without doing this, or we risk to burn more or less the onion or/and the butter, or we don’t make 100% a real toasting. It’s just a detail to make the things more perfectly, but if you don’t do it doesn’t mean that your risotto is not good, it will be also good…at least my mom’s one I can say it is 😀 and I will be honest, sometimes when I’m rushing a bit, I also don’t do it 🙂
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I like the idea of trying out new techniques for cooking a dish, and I (actually *we* since I told my husband about your recipe) are both curious to try the asparagus puree. On another subject, have you ever cooked with carnaroli invecchiato 18 mesi? We tried Scotti’s brand but I am not an expert on rice to be able to tell if that kind of rice is much better than say, just the regular carnaroli.
No, unfortunately I never tried that rice, I just heard about.
Let me know if you like the one with the puree version 🙂 as I said, in my opinion it gives a more intense taste of asparagus (of course, if you can get very good quality asparagus, they have already enough taste and sometimes I also do just the risotto without puree, but sometimes you cannot find the best ones and then the puree can “save” your dish 🙂 )
We made the risotto last night and it was excellent! Seriously, apart from the asparagus flavor, I noted a fuller, more complex taste in my mouth. I expect that this is due to the toasting of the rice, and for that reason I think we will always use that method (when time allows).
Thank you so much for sharing this post. We’ll be making the risotto again…in a couple of days!
I told you Rowena 🙂 I’m very glad to read this and to see that I was a good help for you 🙂
Toasting the rice properly, at those temperatures, it makes possible to close well its pores and to keep inside its starch, and by doing so the rice will remain “al dente” much better. Otherwise, there is the risk that the final texture will be more similar to a boiled rice than to a real risotto. This is what chefs say 🙂
Of course, this is to have the rice “al dente”, if you would like to have it more creamy, then you have to toast it for less time, or don’t toast it at all.
Have a nice day!