Risotto of Asparagus and Parmigiano-Reggiano

posted: 06/30/10
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Risotto of Asparagus and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Take Home Chef, Episode 75: Debra's Menu


  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pinch saffron strands
  • 2 cups/390 g Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
  • 3/4 cup/170 ml dry white wine
  • 8 cups (about) vegetable stock, hot
  • 1 1/2 pounds/700 g thin asparagus, woody ends removed, stalks cut into 1 1/2 -inch/4-cm lengths
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)/55 g butter
  • 1/2 cup/55 g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup/55 g mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons/about 5 g finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 1 1/2-ounce/40-g piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and saffron, and saut? for 2 minutes or until the shallots are tender but do not brown. Add the rice and saut? for 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the white wine and cook for 3 minutes, or until it is absorbed. Add 3/4 cup/175 ml of the hot vegetable stock and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Continue adding the hot stock, 3/4 cup/175 ml at a time, until the rice is al dente (the center of each grain of rice should be slightly firm). This should take about 22 minutes.
  3. Add the asparagus and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove the stems of thyme. The leaves of the thyme should have fallen off the stems and into the risotto. Remove the risotto from the heat, and stir in the butter, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheeses until the butter has melted.
  4. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and season the risotto generously to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the risotto among four warm serving bowls. Garnish with some of the asparagus tip pieces and shaved Parmesan cheese, and serve.
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