Spring Risotto with asparagus and prawns

Before you start, make sure you are going to be able to stay with your risotto the whole time, because it needs dedication – but it will reward you!

To make a risotto for 4 persons you will need:

* 2+1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

* 1 small onion

* 320 g of risotto rice (carnaroli or arborio)

* 150 ml of white wine

* 1-1,5 liter of (vegetable) broth

* salt and pepper

* 300 g of asparagus

* 1 tablespoon of butter

* 40 g of grated parmesan

* 12-16 prawns, deveined and deshelved

1. Put a couple of spoons of extra virgin olive oil to warm up in a big saucepan (or wok) and add the finely chopped onion, fry for 3-4 minutes before adding some water to finish cooking it (we don’t want the onions to burn).

2. Add your risotto rice (carnaroli is the best, 80 g per person, so 320 g for 4 adults) and cook for a couple of minutes, moving it around with a spoon,

3. then add a glass of white wine (about 150 ml) and let the alcohol evaporate. 4. Now all you need is broth (vegetable or fish, as you like). When I want to make it really simple I cook the water in the electric kettle, pour it in a pot or whatever and add broth powder – easy and quick!

5. So, you need to add just enough broth to let the rice sit in it. But it shouldn’t drown, so not too much! Usually just one big soup serving spoon at a time. Stir and stir very very often, keep the heat on medium-high.

6. Add more broth when the rice has dried out and before it starts to stick to the pan. Don’t leave the kitchen and stay with your risotto!

7. After 10 minutes of cooking add the cleaned and cut asparagus (leave the tips aside to add later as they cook quicker), I don’t want them too squishy, I like them with still a bite so 10 minutes cooking are good. 8. Adjust with salt and pepper (remember you’ll be adding Parmesan as well so don’t salt too much).

9. Now we need a little bit of multitasking: put a non sticking pan on the stove, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat it up. Don’t forget to stir and add broth to your risotto in the meantime! When the oil in the pan is hot, add the prawns and cook them through. When they are done, turn the heat off and set aside.10. Keep adding broth and stirring your risotto until the rice is cooked through (it will always have a nice bite, you don’t want to cook it like steamed rice!). Cooking time should be 20-25 minutes.

11. Add the asparagus tips and stir (5 minutes after having added the stalks).

12. When the rice is cooked through, turn the heat off, add one tablespoon of butter and 40 g of grated Parmesan. Stir. Let it rest for a couple of minutes, covered if you have a lid, then plate and add the fried prawns on the top.

Enjoy with a glass of white wine!

Risotto is super flexible. Once you have the basic recipe and ingredients (rice, wine, broth, Parmesan), you can add all kind of vegetables. Also sausage is great. Experiment with different cheeses as well.

You can find a recipe for mushrooms risotto here

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