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Asparagus Risotto

A plate and a bowl of asparagus risotto with a fork resting beside the bowl.
This asparagus risotto is easy and creamy and made with asparagus, Parmesan, shallots, garlic, butter, white wine, and Italian Arborio rice. A lovely spring riff on a traditional Italian classic in less than an hour.
Flora Shedden

Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 40 mins
Entree
Italian
6 servings
269 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 10 1/2 ounces asparagus about 30 thin spears
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 small shallots finely chopped
  • 9 ounces risotto rice about 1 1/4 cups, such as Arborio
  • 1/2 cup white wine such as sauvignon blanc
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 to 4 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese about 1/2 cup, grated
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions 

  • Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and toss them in the compost. Slice the asparagus spears on the diagonal into 1/2-inch (1-cm) lengths.
  • In a large, wide saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil and butter. Add the shallots and rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots are softened and the rice is just beginning to color, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour in the wine, add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently cook until the wine is fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the stock.
  • Now simply add a ladleful of stock at a time and stir almost constantly throughout the process. As you add your first ladleful of stock to the rice, you’re aiming for about 1/2 cup. Keep stirring almost constantly as it cooks. Only add the next ladleful of stock when the previous one has been almost completely absorbed—it’s this slow and gentle process that coaxes the risotto to creaminess.
  • Cook the risotto, gradually adding a ladleful of stock as the previous one is almost completely absorbed, for 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll need to add a total of 3 to 4 cups stock. You’re looking for the risotto to be creamy but not runny and almost but not quite tender. Then stir in the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes more, adding more stock if needed. At this point, the risotto should be tender and creamy, and the asparagus should be tender but not mushy.
  • Remove the saucepan or Dutch oven from the heat. Add the Parmesan and mint and use a wooden spoon to beat the risotto to ensure everything is well combined. Taste and, if desired, season with salt and/or pepper to taste. If you’d like the risotto to become a little less liquidy, cover and let it rest for a few minutes. Otherwise ladle it into serving dishes and prepare to accept compliments.