Click here to downlaod a printable PDF file of this recipe. Serves 3 – 4

5 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
6 tbls. sweet butter (cubed)
1 shallot (fine dice)
1 ½ cups risotto rice (Arborio is fine, but I prefer Carnaroli)
½ cup white wine (Try using the same white you plan to pair with the risotto.)
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
½ cup raw almond slivers
1 bunch asparagus (Trim the hard ends off the bottom of each spear.)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Prepare all of your ingredients before you start.  Have a bowl set on the side, filled with ice water.

Place the stock and water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add the asparagus and cook over a medium flame for 5 - 6 minutes.  Remove from the pan and place the asparagus into the prepared ice bath.  Pour the stock and water mixture into a pot, with ladle, over a very low flame.

In a sauté pan, place one tablespoon of butter and melt over a medium flame.  Once melted and heated through, add the raw almond slivers and season well with salt.  Toast the almonds until they begin to take on a toasted color and give off a rich fragrance.  Move the almonds off the heat and set aside on a towel to drain.

Remove the asparagus from the ice bath and dry.  First cut the tips from each spear and set aside in a bowl for garnish.  Then slice the spears with each piece measuring about ¾ of an inch.

In a saucepan, melt two tablespoons of butter, over a low - medium flame, and then add the shallots.  Season the shallots lightly with salt.  Sweat until translucent, for about three minutes, but do not allow them to take on any color. When the shallots are almost ready, add another tablespoon of butter.  Once the butter has melted, add the rice and bring the flame up to medium.  Toss the rice in the butter and shallot mixture while stirring regularly.  Do not allow the rice to take on any color or stick to the pan.  This should take only one or two minutes.

Now add the wine and stir.  The wine will begin to cook off and, once the rice begins to look dry, add your first ladle full of stock and stir.  I like to set a timer for 17 minutes at this point, as a guide, but not as the set time for completion.

Continue to stir, keeping the rice moving around the pan.  Regularly stir the rice, from the outside of the pan, into the center.  As the rice begins to look dry again, add more stock and continue to stir. You will continue this process until your timer reads two minutes.  Add the asparagus to the pan but not the tips and stir into the mixture.  Ladle a small amount of hot stock over the reserved asparagus tips to warm them. At this time you should begin to taste for doneness.  Season lightly with salt, but remember that the Parmigiano Reggiano is salty as well, so season very lightly.  Once your rice is al dente, soft with a slight snap to the bite, turn off the heat.  You may have a little stock left; hold it for now.  Now add the last tablespoon of butter and the ½ cup of Parmigiano Reggiano and stir into the rice until combined.  If the rice is too dry, add a little bit more hot stock and stir.

Taste the risotto, one last time for seasoning.  Plate into warmed bowls.  Garnish with the asparagus tips and toasted almonds.  Clean the rim of your plate and serve.

Risotto Two ways

Risotto Bianco
Eric's step-by-step instructions let you quickly master the perfect risotto bianco, the basis for all risotto. I like to pair this rich yet subtle dish with older Burgundy, and of course Nebbiolo. The butter and cheese offer the perfect backdrop to highlight the delicate fruit that these wines possess.

Asparagus Risotto
Risotto Bianco is not only great for highlighting the flavors of mature wines, but also the delicate yet complex notes of almost anything you can imagine. The combination of asparagus and almonds transforms this risotto, making it an ideal match for Vietti's Arneis.