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Dining Tip: Asparagus Risotto

A flawless classic from chef Marco Canora

Posted: June 3, 2013

• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, peeled and diced
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups arborio or other short-grained rice
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 6 to 8 cups good quality chicken stock (preferably homemade)
• 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and the oil in a large high-sided skillet or rondeau over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Raise the heat to high and add the rice. Using a wooden spoon, stir the rice with the onion and fat until the rice no longer looks chalky and the grains begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine. Allow it to bubble vigorously until the rice absorbs it, about 1 minute.

3. Add enough broth to just cover the rice, about 2 cups. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring and scraping rice away from the sides occasionally. Cook the rice until it is almost dry, about 5 minutes, then again add enough broth to cover. Simmer, scraping and stirring every so often, until the broth is incorporated, about 5 minutes more.

4. Add about 1 cup broth. Stirring more frequently now, cook the risotto until the rice absorbs the broth, about 3 minutes. Add another cup of broth. Simmer, stirring, until the pan is almost dry again, about 3 minutes more.

5. Lower the heat and add the asparagus, salt and pepper to taste, and about 1/4 cup broth. Simmer, stirring constantly and adding broth in 1/4-cup increments, until the rice is just tender. Take the pan off the heat and add the cheese and the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve. Serves 6 to 8.

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