Fresh, early peas, bright green asparagus, fragrant green garlic….
The flavors of spring at their best.
And the color’s not bad either – all of those beautiful greens against a background of white risotto.
For those who don’t know, or are doubtful, risotto is absolutely easy to make. Don’t listen to the wags that say you have to stir constantly – you don’t (just often and with vigor); or that you need to add butter to make it creamy – you don’t (that’s what the vigorous stirring is for).
Trust me, it’s east – just make sure you have the right rice.
Make it pretty for spring – an enjoy the season!
Risotto with Asparagus, Veal and Peas
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
- 6oz (175gr) asparagus
- 1/2 cup (2.5oz, 75gr) peas, fresh or frozen, plain
- 2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) dry, white wine
- 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 500ml) chicken stock
- 4 green garlic
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- 6oz (175 gr) veal scallops
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
- Prepare asparagus, cutting to 1 inch (2.5cm) lengths, reserving tips.
- Trim and slice green garlic.
- In medium sauce pan heat butter
- Add green garlic, rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
- Add white wine and stir.
- Start condimenti.
- When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock and all of the asparagus, except tips, and stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.)
- When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
- Before the last 2 ’1/3 cups’, add the asparagus tips to the rice.
- Add the peas to the stock to heat.
- Before the last 1/3 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it a tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate.
- Pour off any remaining stock from the peas and add peas to risotto.
- Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
- It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff. The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.
- Slice the veal scallops into bite-size strips.
- While risotto is cooking, heat oil in medium skillet. A
- Add veal and sauté until cooked through.
- Cover and keep warm until needed for risotto.
Tired of doing the planning every week? This weeks menus are out, with all recipes and complete shopping list. Easy Weekly Menus, for your choice of three menus.