By Pippa Mattei
Photo by Ray Attard
The spring brings with it a whole new array of vegetables and perhaps the best of them are asparagus. Locally grown, these are lovely in a simple risotto served with lots of Parmesan cheese
- 500g asparagus, woody ends removed
- 850ml chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped
- 50g unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 250 g risotto rice
- 50ml vermouth
- 150g Parmesan, freshly grated
- Heat the chicken stock.
- Cut the tips off the asparagus and keep to one side. Chop the tender parts of the stalks into approx. 2.5cm pieces.
- Blanch the asparagus tips for 2 mins, then blanch the stalks for about 3 mins.
- In a blender, pulse the stalks with a ladle of the stock.
- In a heavy saucepan, cook the onion in half the butter and the oil over a low heat for about 6 mins until soft.
- Add the rice and cook gently, stirring for 2 mins to coat the rice with the oil.
- Start to add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, stirring constantly, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
- Continue until the rice is al dente, usually about 20 mins.
- Add the stalk puree, vermouth, asparagus tips, the rest of the butter, and the Parmesan.
- Stir to combine and season.
- Serve with more Parmesan.
For more of Pippa Mattei’s recipes, to purchase her award-winning cook boos or to book cooking classes with her, visit her website at www.pippamattei.com