Asparagus Risotto

This is an easy and tasty risotto dish that’s also a great way to use up fresh asparagus, if you have some left over — just scale the recipe accordingly.

1 kilo (2 lbs, 3 oz.) asparagus
300g (10.5 oz.) risotto rice
50g (3 Tbsp.) butter
1 medium red onion, chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Cut off the extreme tips of the asparagus (about 3 cm or 1 inch) and set aside. Chop the remaining sections into 1-inch pieces and cook in 1 liter (4 cups) boiling, salted water. When tender, remove the stalks from the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon and reserve the cooking liquid. Puree the tender stalks until mushy, then stir the puree back into the cooking water to make an asparagus stock.

Melt the butter in a large stockpot and cook the onion until soft. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until it absorbs the flavor of the butter. Add the wine and let evaporate, then ladle on a bit of the stock. When the rice has absorbed the liquid, add another ladle of stock. Continue in this way until the rice is cooked, stirring constantly.

If your stock runs out before the rice is tender, you’ll need to have some other vegetable stock ready. Just make sure whatever liquid you add is simmering when you ladle it into the rice.

Add the asparagus tips about 15 minutes after the first addition of stock. Test the rice toward the end of cooking and turn off the heat when the rice is al dente. Check the seasonings, add desired cheese, and serve immediately.

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