Creamy Italian risotto is one of my favorite dishes. Both for cooking and eating. I enjoy coming up with tasty combinations and enjoy how everything fits together perfectly in the end.
Join me in adding another piece to my collection of delicious Italian risotto recipes. I decided to take advantage of the asparagus season starting and enjoy a light, almost summer dish. Asparagus and seafood go beautifully together.
Let’s start by reminding ourselves which rice to choose for risotto. The most suitable rice is Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. There are other types, but these three are the best ones to get here. You can buy them in Italian shops, but also in some supermarkets. I stock up at Lidl when it’s Italian week. I also bought the frozen seafood mix I used in this recipe at Lidl.
The main difference in these rice is that they are high in starch, which thickens the final dish beautifully and makes for a creamy consistency. In addition, the grains of this rice are able to absorb a lot more liquid and therefore flavour.
You can’t do without broth (ideally homemade) and white wine. Salt and pepper, that’s a given, quality olive oil is also a must for Italian food.
Hint: you can find more interesting recipes on the page dedicated to recipes from the rice.
- 350 g rice for risotto
- 2 shallots
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 250 ml white wine
- 300-400 ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 10 stalks of green asparagus
- 250 g frozen seafood mix
- 1 tomato
- 100 g parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 100-150 g cold butter
Chop the shallots finely. Try to make the pieces as uniform as possible. This is the only way the shallots will roast properly and you won’t end up with a part that is already burnt and a part that is just starting to turn a transparent colour.
Put the stainless steel pot, which should have a thicker bottom, on the stove that you turn on to the highest heat. Let it heat up and then pour the olive oil on top (you can try butter too). Immediately add the shallots.
You can turn the heat down slightly, but not too much. Fry the shallots until they turn golden brown.
Turn the stove back on full and add the dry rice to the shallots.
Stir vigorously, without stopping for a moment. The rice will change colour during frying, it takes about two to three minutes. Do not stop stirring all the time so that the rice and shallots do not burn. At this point, add salt and pepper.
Pour the wine over the fried rice. Again with the hob fully on. Stir until all the wine has evaporated from the rice and there is no more liquid in the pot. Now it’s time for the hot broth. Have this ready in a pot on the next stove and start adding it to the rice.
Always add enough so that the rice is just below the surface. The grains of rice must not “peek” out, but there must not be too much liquid on them either. Because if you don’t estimate the amount of stock towards the end of cooking the risotto, you may end up waiting for the liquid to be absorbed so that the risotto isn’t too runny, and in the meantime the rice will cook. So always add one ladleful at a time, stirring and always letting the added liquid absorb into the rice before adding another ladleful.
Don’t forget to keep tasting.
If the dish lacks salt, add salt as soon as possible so that it is absorbed into the rice grains and not just into the sauce.
Stirring is very important. If possible, do not stop.
After about ten minutes, add the chopped asparagus pieces. Leave the stems only, the tips with a piece of stem aside for now. Cut the tomato into chunks and add to the pot as well, along with the seafood.
After about 20 to 25 minutes, the risotto should be ready. The only way to tell if you can stop cooking is by tasting and testing if the rice is soft enough. It should definitely not be overcooked. Warm the green asparagus heads on top of the risotto for a few more minutes. Just really lightly, they don’t need to boil.
Here comes the final touch to our masterpiece. Remove the finished risotto from the stove. Prepare your cooled butter, a few pieces, and grated parmesan cheese. Add these two ingredients to the pot and stir vigorously until the butter and cheese are melted. This will thicken and flavor the risotto.
Serve immediately on warmed plates. Give the bottom of the plate a couple of good slaps with the palm of your hand and the properly prepared risotto will spill beautifully over the plate. Garnish with asparagus heads.