What it is:
An easy way to add a twist (plus some color and nutritional value) to your standard old risotto recipe. Be warned, however, that the easy part is limited to adding the asparagus to the recipe. Risotto is a labor-intensive dish, which requires constant attention and watch.
For 6 servings
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2⁄3 cup dry white wine
1 1⁄2 cups Arborio rice
1⁄2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1⁄2 ounces dried cremini mushrooms
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups red onions, finely chopped
6 ounces medium asparagus spears, cut 1 inch on the bias
2⁄3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt & fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)
What you do:
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
2. Add the porcini and cremini mushrooms, cooking until they are tender–about 5 minutes.
3. Remove the mushrooms and finely chop them, setting them aside.
4. Reduce the heat on the broth to low, just to keep it warm.
5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
6. Add the olive oil and onions, sauteing until they are tender and translucent.
7. Toss the portobello mushrooms and garlic into the onions and saute for a minute or two, stirring to keep anything from burning on the bottom.
8. Add the chopped porcini and cremini mushrooms to the onions and saute for an additional 5 minutes or until all the juices evaporate.
9. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes, absorbing the flavors already in the pan.
10. Pour the wine in, stirring continuously until it is fully absorbed.
11. Turn the heat up to medium, and add 1 cup of broth, simmering until the liquid is absorbed, making sure to stir often.
12. Repeat the process of adding and cooking in one cup of broth at a time for 4 additional cups of broth (5 cups total).
13. At this point, you should taste the rice for doneness as you continue cooking for two more cycles. It should be firm in the center, yet not crunchy.
14. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the asparagus and the last cup of broth.
15. Cover the saucepan and cook for another five minutes, until the asparagus is tender with a crispness to the bite and the risotto is tender with some firmness left in it.
16. Remove from the heat and fold in the cheese.
17. Cover again and let sit away from the heat for 5 minutes.
18. Season with the salt and pepper to taste and serve
**You control the consistency. If you prefer a more creamy risotto, don’t let it cook as long at the end. If you prefer it more dry, you can cook it a bit longer, making sure to stir often so it doesn’t burn.