Although risotto often seems like a time consuming dish to make, most of that time is actually spent stirring the broth into the rice and making sure the the rice absorbs all, or most, of the liquid. The most important components of risotto are the rice and the quality of the stock. Arborio is one of the most common types of rice used for risotto but any kind of short-grain type will do. Risotto develops its characteristic creamy texture from the addition of the stock into the rice, a little at a time. This allows the starch to slowly dissolve and thicken the liquid which binds the grains together. Once the basic recipe comes together, you can add any other ingredients such as asparagus, mushrooms, sausage, or a combination of any ingredients you have laying around.
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4 in. slices
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup white wine
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Note: The amount of chicken stock for the recipe is approximate. You may need to add more or less depending on how quickly the liquid evaporates, how intense the heat is, etc. The best way to judge is to look at the consistency and to taste the rice to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly.
1. Saute asparagus in olive oil.
2. Bring the stock to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
3. Sweat the onions in olive oil until soft and translucent.
4. Add the rice, stirring to coat the grains with olive oil. Then add the wine and stir until wine is absorbed.
5. Add 1/2 cup of simmering stock and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Keep the rice at a simmer, stirring continuously. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 a cup at a time until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. The consistency should be a little soupy at this point because the final ingredients will tighten up the risotto.
6. Off the heat, add the sauteed asparagus and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine ingredients. If the risotto has thickened too much, you can add a few more drops of chicken stock to thin it out.