Interesting Italian Food: Asparagus Risotto

Yesterday was one of those days I got to the office before the sun came up, and left as the sun was setting.  After banging away at my keyboard all day I needed something to get me excited about dinner, and then I remembered the bunch of asparagus I had waiting for me in the refrigerator.

I love asparagus just about anyway you can cook it, and when you add it to creamy rice and cheese I love it even more.

Risotto is one of those dishes that sounds complex and fancy, but really it is a one pot dish that is so easy you don’t even need to measure the ingredients.  I didn’t start cooking risotto until I moved to Italy and I really wish it hadn’t taken me so long to discover it.

To make asparagus risotto you need arborio rice, olive oil, chicken or vegetable broth, parmigiano reggiano  cheese, asparagus, and white wine.  I recommend the cheapest wine you enjoy drinking because once you are done cooking you can pour yourself a nice big glass of the leftover wine.

I never bother to measure ingredients for this dish, I just cut up the asparagus, sauté it for a little while in a pot with olive oil, then add the rice (a cup or two is a good amount, but again, there is not much need to measure).  Once you add the rice, you pour in some of the white wine, stir it up and let the rice soak up the wine.  When the rice has soaked up most of the wine you add some broth and repeat the process.  I like to add more wine than broth but you can use whatever ratio you prefer.

Just keep adding wine and broth and stirring everything until the rice is done.  At this point it will be nice and creamy, but the really good part comes when you add a handful of the parmigiano reggiano cheese.  This is one of the best comfort foods I have in my arsenal and it is easy enough to make that I often have it for a weekday dinner (which is when I usually need comfort food).  Sometimes I save the tips of the asparagus to bake until they are nice and crunchy as toppers for the dish, but that is entirely unnecessary.

One more great thing about this dish… there is almost always enough left over for lunch the next day!

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