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Risotto 101*

Risotto is a classic, Northern Italian dish with a thick and creamy consistency. It’s prepared with high-starch kernels of Arborio rice, an Italian-grown grain that’s shorter and fatter than other short-grain rice. Arborio rice should never be rinsed prior to preparing risotto so as not to remove the starchy coating required to achieve the creamy texture of the final dish.

1. Cook asparagus – Cook asparagus in butter just until tender-crisp, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Set aside to stir into the risotto at the end so it retains its crisp texture and bright color.

2. Sauté Arborio rice – To the same saucepan in which the shallots have been cooked in butter, add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently to evenly coat the grains with the butter. Cook the rice until the grains appear translucent on the edges yet still white in the center.

3. Add broth gradually – Once the wine has been added and absorbed by the rice, gradually ladle the hot broth into the saucepan, stirring until the roth is almost absorbed before the next addition. If a spoon pulled across the bottom of the pan leaves a trail, you’ll know it’s time to add more broth. Once all the broth has been added and absorbed, the rice should have a creamy consistency with grains that are tender yet firm to the bite.

4. Final additions – With the saucepan off the heat, stir in freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chopped fresh parsley and the asparagus until the cheese melts. Bueno appetito!

*(Click here or Download the pdf for the Asparagus Risotto recipe)