The vegetables used here can be varied according to availability but should always include tiny new peas.
Serves4 to 6
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course, side dish
Dietary Considerationappetizer, main course, side dish
Taste and Texturebuttery, cheesy, creamy, garlicky, herby, savory, winey
- 6 asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths
- 1 cup (250 mL) peas (fresh or frozen)
- 6 cups (1.5 L) homemade or high-quality prepared chicken stock (approximate)
- ¼ cup (50 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups (500 mL) short-grained Italian Arborio rice
- ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
- 1 small yellow zucchini, washed, trimmed and diced
- 1 small green zucchini, washed, trimmed and diced
- 1 cup (250 mL) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook asparagus and, if using, fresh peas for 2 minutes or until tender-crisp.(Frozen peas are added in step 5.) Drain and refresh under cold running water; drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and keep the stock at this steady, slightly bubbling state throughout the rest of the cooking.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes or until translucent. Stir in garlic; cook for 2 minutes longer. Add rice all at once; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until grains are well coated with butter and oil. Pour in wine; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until wine is absorbed.
Using a ladle, start to add simmering stock ½ cup (125 mL) at a time. As each ladle of stock is added, stir the rice to keep it from sticking to bottom and sides of saucepan; do not add more until last addition is absorbed. If the stock is absorbed too quickly, reduce the heat to maintain a slow, steady simmer. Repeat this process, ladling in the hot stock and stirring, for 15 minutes. As you near the end of the cooking time, reduce the amount of stock to ¼ cup (50 mL) at a time.
Stir in asparagus, zucchini and, if using, frozen peas. Continue to cook, adding more stock as necessary, until the rice is tender but with a firm heart and overall creaminess. It should not be soupy or runny-looking. A minute before completion, stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
2008 Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh