Will easily serve 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish.
Suggested Trader Joe’s white wine pairing: Chilled bottle of Mouton Cadet Bordeaux
Except where noted all ingredients (including the wine) come from Trader Joe’s.
- 1 container chicken broth
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 cup Carnaroli rice (Amazon)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (see wine pairing suggestion)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano plus some more to top the risotto after it has been plated
- Asparagus tips (~ 1 inch) from a container’s worth of asparagus
- Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- Trader Joe’s red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic
Notes regarding the ingredients
- For the wine, I’d recommend some (any year will be fine) Mouton Cadet Bordeaux from TJ’s. You’ll use a half-cup for the dish, the rest (serve chilled) will be nice to sip while you’re cooking and will also go well with the meal.
- This recipe uses Carnaroli rice. It makes a really creamy risotto and it’s harder to overcook.
- You can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
- You can leave out the butter/olive oil if you double up on what you’re not leaving out.
- I prefer shallots over yellow onions but if you only have a regular onion use half of a small one.
- Do not, I repeat, do not buy the pre-grated cheese. Don’t have a grater? My first choice would be a Microplane grater and my second choice a Zyliss grater.
- Get the thin asparagus if you can. Save the unused asparagus for something else (e.g., omelet, salad). Don’t like asparagus? Grab some peas. Sometimes TJ’s has the ‘english peas’ in the produce aisle but you can use the frozen ones. Just precook and drop into the risotto at the end.
Pour yourself a glass, turn on some music, and get ready for the journey ahead. Cheers!
Step 1: Heat up broth and pre-cook the asparagus
- Empty the entire box of broth into pan and heat over low heat. The purpose is to keep the broth warm while cooking the risotto. If the broth starts to boil just turn off the burner. Keep a ladle ready.
- While the broth heats go ahead and prepare the asparagus so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re cooking the risotto:
- Fill a bowl with cold water and add some ice.
- Put the asparagus tips in a shallow pan and fill with enough water to just cover the asparagus.
- Cover pan and heat water just until water starts to boil. The asparagus should be Ireland green in color.
- To keep the asparagus from overcooking, remove asparagus from hot water and put into cold water with ice.
- Once asparagus has cooled down remove from water.
Step 2: Prepare the risotto
- Heat up the butter & olive oil over medium heat in a medium size pot.
- Add the chopped shallot and cook until softened. Approx 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cup of Carnaroli Rice and start stirring.
Note: From this point forward you’re not going to stop stirring until the risotto is done. Get your child/partner to help out if you need to take a break.
- Stir the rice until…use your senses to determine when to stop toasting the rice. The rice will start to get translucent and will smell like it is toasting. If you see the edges of the shallots start to brown/burn time to move to the next step. Shouldn’t take more than 4 minutes.
- Add wine and keep stirring until the wine has evaporated. This won’t take long.
- Ladle a ladle full (~half cup) of the warmed broth into the rice. Keep stirring. Once the broth has evaporated, add another ladle full of broth and continue stirring. Repeat until one ladle full of broth remains.
- Add the last ladle of broth.
- Add the cheese.
- Add the asparagus.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue stirring until the risotto reaches a creamy consistency.
Step 3: Plate risotto
- Spoon into dish.
- Grate some cheese on top.
- Put small drops of the red pepper spread on the top of the risotto. In addition to adding some color to the dish it serve as a nice contrast to what you’ve created.