Winter is finally over, and it’s time to set aside the hearty comfort food. The days are longer, the sun is shining, and fresh produce is taking over our kitchens. What better way to welcome the warmer weather than with a light & oh-so delicioso asparagus risotto. This perfectly succulent risotto takes us on a Mediterranean journey to the coast of beautiful Italy. Ready? Let’s get cooking!
- 350 g (12 oz) of asparagus
- 4 slices of pancetta and 70 g (2.5 oz) of thinly diced pancetta
- 3 fresh onions
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 320 g (11oz) of carnaroli rice or risotto rice
- 1 cup of white wine
- 1.5 litres of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
- A few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese
- Zest of half an orange
Prepping the asparagus
Wash the asparagus thoroughly. Fry them quickly with olive oil and a pinch of salt, turn them over delicately, making sure they remain green and crunchy (al dente!). Once done, separate the asparagus into four small bundles and wrap each bundle with a slice of pancetta.
Dice the onions and the remaining pancetta. Sauté them in a thick-bottomed pan with 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the risotto rice, mix well, each grain must look translucent and pearly. Pour in one cup of white wine and let it evaporate.
Pour in the chicken broth one spoonful at a time (a ladle, the big soup-serving spoon), stir, and wait for the broth to be absorbed before pouring the next spoonful. Towards the end, add the remaining asparagus. Remove the pot from the fire, mix in the mascarpone cheese. Lastly add 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and mix quickly, yet delicately (you don’t want to damage the asparagus). Place the risotto on a plate and garnish with a sliver of orange zest, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and season with pepper.
Adapted from French by Jonelle Larouche