Asparagus and fresh pea risotto

A sexy vegetarian dinner option.

Serves: 4


2T (30ml) olive oil
2 peeled and diced shallots
2 cups (500ml/400g) arborio rice
½ cup (125ml) white wine
5 cups (1.2l) hot vegetable stock
115g asparagus tips
1 ½ cups (375ml/180g) fresh peas
½ cup (50g) grated Parmesan
¼ cup (60ml) butter


Heat olive oil in a large pot, add shallots and fry slowly without colouring. Add rice and cook 2–3 minutes, stirring, until rice has a little colour and turns slightly translucent. Add wine and keep stirring. Once the alcohol has evaporated, add your first ladle of hot vegetable stock and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly. Keep adding stock (a ladleful at a time) while stirring the creamy starch out of the rice. Make sure all stock is absorbed before adding more. You want the rice to be al dente – tender but with a slight bite. This will take about 15–20 minutes. Cook the asparagus and peas in separate pots until tender. Drain, set aside and keep warm. When the risotto is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed, remove the risotto from the heat and whip in the Parmesan and butter. Rest for 2 minutes (this is when it becomes creamy) and stir in asparagus and peas. Serve immediately with fresh Parmesan.

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