As an alternative to pasta, Italian-style risotto is the next best thing. It is creamy with a fabulous mouth-filling consistency and is perfect when combined with spring vegetables. Although risotto can be a little time consuming, it is relatively cheap and definitely worth the work in the kitchen. Here's your how-to for risotto and a few risotto recipes to get you started.
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Classic Asparagus RisottoMakes 4 to 6 servings
1 pound asparagus, rinsed and peeled
1/2 small onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter or 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine, warmed
1 quart vegetable stock, warmed
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2. Add rice to skillet and cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in wine and stir until it has evaporated. Begin adding stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring after each ladle until the liquid has evaporated. When almost all of the liquid has been added, stir in asparagus and continue stirring until the rest of the liquid has been added. Only add enough liquid to make rice creamy but not too dense.
3. When rice is finished, taste for seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Take rice off of heat and let sit covered for a few minutes then spoon into a serving bowl and top with grated cheese.
Barley RisottoMakes 4 to 6 servings
2. Ladle stock into skillet, one ladleful at a time, stirring after each ladle until fully absorbed. When almost all the stock is added, stir in herbs and salt and pepper. Continue stirring and adding liquid until fully cooked. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Shrimp RisottoMakes 4 to 6 servings
2. Saute onion and 1 teaspoon of garlic in 4 tablespoons of butter until onion is softened. Stir in rice and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in stock 1 ladleful at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in the shrimp cooking liquid and continue cooking until rice is creamy and al dente.
3. Take rice off of heat and stir in shrimp, season with salt and pepper and top with parsley. Serve warm.
Love risotto? Try these risotto recipesBasic risotto and more
Pressure Cooker Asparagus Risotto
Winter Squash Risotto with Mushroom Barley