Creamy risotto with asparagus

Ingredients for 6 persons
390 grams of Carnaroli rice
2 and 1/2 bunches of asparagus
80 grams of cold butter
6 generous tablespoons of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
evo oil
1 onion
2 carrots
1 celery
1 glass white wine
1 lemon (optional)

Time: 30 minutes

Let’s cook!

In a pot, add the vegetables, covering them with cold water. Cook the vegetable stock over medium heat.
Wash the asparagus and separate the tender upper part from the woody lower part. The latter, add it to the vegetables you are preparing the stock with.

In a microwaveable container (or in a glass or ceramic bowl, covered with a plate), cook the asparagus in the microwave at 500 degrees for 45 seconds.

Separate the asparagus tips from the stalks. Keep the tips aside.
Using a mini blender, blend the stalks with two tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Set the asparagus cream aside.

In a large frying pan, dry toast the rice (without oil or butter). It will be ready when it is hot to the touch and becomes translucent. Add the white wine and let it evaporate completely. Once the wine has evaporated, add a ladleful of hot vegetable stock and cook for about 6-7 minutes, adding more stock only when the previous one is absorbed.
While cooking, the rice should not be stirred. Why? To prevent the starch from escaping and the grains from becoming slimy instead of separated from each other.

When the rice is almost fully cooked, add the cream of asparagus, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
When cooked through, remove the rice from the heat, cover the pan and wait 2 minutes for the rice to firm up.

Add the cheese and the very cold butter, stirring gently. This operation is called “mantecatura” in Italian. Serve, decorating with asparagus tips.

If you like, you can also add a sprinkling of lemon peel or aromatic lemon oil.

NB: If you like the association of asparagus with fish, you can pair this risotto with shrimps.
These should be sautéed on the side in a pan with a little oil and a sprinkling of pepper and added at the end of the risotto cooking, before the “mantecatura” with butter and Parmigiano.

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