Ah risotto… one of the ultimate Italian comfort foods. Something unbeknownst to me made me crave it earlier this week and even though I usually prefer to chow on risotto in the winter months I could not let the thought of the creamy, tasty dish go. Then I remembered this fresh and lemony recipe towards the back of my little black book of food, and it was on like Donkey Kong! This is the perfect weekend dish… glass of wine in hand, slowly stirring that Arborio rice to risotto perfection.
Ingredients (makes 6 servings):
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts
- 1 cup chopped fennel
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cups dry white wine
- 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock
- 1 pound thin asparagus
- 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
- 1 Tbs freshly grated lemon juice
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
1. Get this party started by setting you your workstation and do your preparation work. You will need one stock pot for your stock, one for the risotto and a third for your asparagus. Set your stock pot on a low simmer and start water for the asparagus. While waiting for both to heat up, chop the fennel and the leeks and set aside. Mix lemon juice and mascarpone cheese in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal and drop into boiling water once ready. Boil for circa 3 minutes, then remove from water, drain and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in pan, saute leeks and fennel for about 3 minutes. Toast rice for another 2 to 3 minutes making sure not to brown the rice, but be sure to coat it all with oil. Add wine. You should hear a sizzle in the pan as you add the wine to the rice and onion mixture. Let almost evaporate, then start adding simmering broth to the pan one ladle at a time. Stir the rice gently with a wooden spoon and keep this up until the liquid once again is near evaporated. Repeat this process – add liquid, stir, reduce down, add liquid, stir, reduce down… you get the picture. After circa 15 minutes fold in the steamed asparagus and your peas – continue to cook for another 5 minutes. The risotto is done when slightly al dente yet smooth and creamy.
3. Remove from heat and fold in Parmesan cheese and lemony mascarpone cheese.
Serve on a warm, flat plate and when eating risotto start from the outside of the plate and work your way in. This is because risotto cools down quickly, and that the dish will become cool around the edges first.
The cost for this dish as broken down per serving is only $2.23
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Items already in pantry were unsalted butter and parmesan cheese
Recipe source: Spring Green Risotto, Ina Garten, FoodNetwork