I have always loved asparagus. When spring comes, they are on my table at least once a week! I love them poached with home-made mayo or aioli, but I also like to make risotto with them. I have already shared an Asparagus Risotto with Raspadüra recipe on the blog, but this Cream of Asparagus and Spumante Risotto is one of my favourites. It’s delicate and elegant, but very flavourful too. I also love the colour: it’s such a lovely green. Always make sure to keep it all’onda and not too dry, you want to have it moist and creamy, not dry and sticky. Enjoy!
Ingredients (for 4 persons):
320 gms – 11.5 oz. rice (Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano)
20 asparagus, steamed or poached in salty boiling water until tender
½ onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
60 ml – ¼ cup Spumante / sparkling wine
1 lt – 4 cups vegetable stock
4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
30 gms – 2 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
Blend the poached asparagus until smooth. You may need to add a little water to blend them, but keep it creamy and not watery.
Put the stock in a pot and heat it on the fire. The stock has to be hot all the time while you are cooking risotto, so that the rice temperature does not drop when you add it to it.
Put the finely chopped onion and the 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and let it cook on a slow fire, until the onion becomes soft and transparent.
Add the rice, mix well and let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent.
Now pour in the Spumante wine and let the alcohol burn off by cooking on a high flame.
Then add enough hot stock to cover the rice and turn the fire to medium-low. Keep cooking, occasionally stirring the rice and adding hot stock little by little, until the rice is cooked. It is going to take approximately 18 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using.
After the first 15 minutes, add the asparagus purée and keep cooking the rice.
When the rice is ready, put the fire off and add the butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix very well, until the rice becomes creamy. Make sure that your risotto is moist (or, as we say, all’onda – which literally means wavy) and not sticky. You can do that by adding 1 or 2 extra tbsp of hot stock if needed. Check for salt and season to your liking.
NOTE: Do not wash the rice before cooking it. You want to keep the starch in it, as that is what makes risotto naturally creamy.