Spring WAS HERE! It left yesterday when it snowed all day, but before that it was so sunny and warm and perfect for about two and a half weeks and we've been outside as much as possible. Two weeks ago I went down to Venice for the day and the vegetable market by the Rialto Bridge was filled with....asparagus! Finally! Here, they are a true sign of spring because we can't buy them until March.
So, this month's risotto is made with spring asparagus:
I made a little extra this time because I had lots of asparagus and I was thinking that leftovers would be good, but the risotto ended up being so good that we ate it all at dinner! Here's what you do...
As usual, simmer either chicken or vegetable stock, about four cups. Dice half an onion and a shallot and put them in a frying pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once they are soft, add one cup of Arborio rice and stir to coat.
Meanwhile, break the ends off the asparagus, drizzle them with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and a few chili flakes, and roast them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft (I actually like them kind of burnt and crispy too).
Back to the rice - add a ladle of stock to the rice mixture and stir. Once the rice has absorbed the stock, add another ladle, and repeat this process until the rice is tender but still has its chewy bite... you'll just know when it's right.
When the asparagus are done, remove them from the oven and chop them coarsely. Add them to the rice along with a half a cup of freshly grated Parmesan. Stir together and serve immediately. Yum.