Asparagus, Red Pepper Risotto

1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed off, cut into 1″ pieces
1 red pepper, cored and diced
3 Tbl. olive oil
4 Tbl. butter
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
6 cups warmed chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 Tbl. butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, garnish

Cook asparagus and peppers in oil for 2 min. Transfer to bowl. In a medium saucapan, heat butter and saute shallots until soft, about 2 min. Add rice; stir well to coat the rice and then add the broth, one cup at a time, allowing each cup of broth to be absorbed before adding the next. Stir the rice the entire time you are cooking, making sure the rice doesn’t stick to bottom of pan. This process takes about 30 min.

When rice is tender, add cheese, remaining butter, reserved asparagus and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with chives and additional cheese. Serves 4-6

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