Monday, May 4, 2009

Risotto with asparagus, peas and ham

I made a variation of this recipe a few nights ago. Failed attempt #3 at making creamy risotto (my rice is always a little bit crunchy!). Regardless of the texture, this is a great flavor combination, I loved the peas and the asparagus, especially.

Asparagus risotto with peas and hamadapted from Whole Foods

1 pound fresh asparagus,
trimmed Sea salt Cooking liquid combined with beef, poultry or vegetable broth to make 7 cups
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 cups cooked ham
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
Fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated


Braise asparagus in large pan filled with about 2 inches of water (asparagus should fit in one layer across bottom of pan), covered, about 5 minutes. Remove asparagus (reserve water) and rinse with cool water to prevent further cooking. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and set spear tips aside to add to dish once it is cooked. Pour cooking water into large pot and add enough beef broth to make 7 cups of liquid. Keep water simmering over low heat, as you’ll be adding this to the rice throughout its cooking.

In large heavy pot, add 1 tablespoon butter, olive oil and minced onion. Cook onion until nearly translucent over medium-high heat. Add asparagus stalks (not the spear tips) and stir well. Add rice, stirring quickly. Add 1/2 cups simmering broth and cook, stirring constantly, until water is absorbed. Repeat process till rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add peas about 3/4 way though.
Final consistency should be creamy and the rice tender but slightly firm at the center.

Turn off heat and stir in asparagus spear tips, ham, pepper, 2 tablespoons butter and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately.

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