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risotto agli asparagi
asparagus risotto


serves 4


1 lb (500g) asparagus, thin ones

1 3/4 cups (320g) short grained rice (vialone nano, carnaroli or arborio)

about 1/3 cup white wine

about 5 cups hot vegetable broth

garlic, green garlic (sliced) or regular garlic (peeled and smashed)

lemon zest

grated parmigiano

salt and white pepper

extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the asparagus breaking off the tough part of the stalks at the bottom of each spear.


Make a vegetable broth with onion, carrot, celery, parsley and the tough parts of the asparagus. Keep the broth over a low flame.


Steam the asparagus spears until they are just soft but still bright green. Cut the tips off of the steamed asparagus spears to use later, and using an immersion blender and a few spoonfuls of vegetable broth, reduce the steamed asparagus spears to thick purée.


Sautée the asparagus tips with the garlic in abundant extra virgin olive oil, season with salt. When the the garlic is translucent and has released its flavor, turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest.


In a heavy-bottomed casserole toast the rice in extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or so. Add the white wine, when the rice has absorbed the wine begin adding the hot broth about ½ cup at a time, stirring often. Continue cooking the rice this way, over medium high heat and slowly adding liquid, until it is creamy and cooked through, 15 - 20 minutes. As one of the last additions of liquid add the asparagus purée instead of broth.


Because the cooked risotto will continue to absorb liquid, remove the pot from the heat before all of the liquid from the last addition has been completely absorbed so the risotto remains creamy and doesn't get thick. Stir in the lemony sautéed asparagus tips together with their olive oil, add salt and white pepper to taste, top with some grated parmigiano cheese.

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