Asparagus and peas spring risotto

_MG_35231 lb asparagus
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
10-oz fresh or frozen green peas

Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and add them to a large soup pot. Slice the trimmed asparagus spears on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths, leave the tips whole, and place both in a medium bowl and set aside.

Pour 5 1/2 cups water or stock over the asparagus ends. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer until the broth is fragrant, about 25 minutes. Discard the asparagus ends, keep the stock warm.

Add the olive oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and soft, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the grains are opaque, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring often, until it is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 cup of the broth. Cook the risotto, stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed (when you push a wooden spoon through the center of the pot, a trail should remain for 1 second before the rice comes back together), and then add another 1 cup of warm broth. The rice will probably need about 2 minutes of cooking and stirring between each addition.

Once you have added 4 cups of broth total to the risotto (after about 10 minutes), add the sliced asparagus, asparagus tips and peas with the last cup of stock. You know the risotto is done when the rice is creamy, not mushy, the grains are plump yet separate, and the rice is cooked to an al dente doneness (there should be an opaque speck in the center of a grain of rice). Turn off the heat. Add 2 tbsp of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, stirring to combine. Spoon the risotto into serving bowls, sprinkle with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve.

Recipe adapted from


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