|CLASSIC pasta||risotto with mushrooms and asparagus|
Another wonderful combination, especially, of course, in the spring when the asparagus is perfect.
for the mushrooms:
Trim the asparagus by breaking off the bottom ends of the stalks. Cut the remainder on a diagonal into two inch slices. In a saute pan over medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and saute the asparagus and mushrooms for two minutes and set aside. (they should be slightly softened).
to cook: (a more detailed and elaborate description of the risotto cooking technique can be found at how to cook risotto).
Bring the stock to a slow simmer in a pan next to the risotto pan. In a thick-bottomed pan (the risotto pan), over medium-high heat: add the olive oil. Add the onion and the herbs. Cook until soft. Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated with the oil. Add the white wine. Cook and stir until it is absorbed by the rice, about two minutes. Add salt. Now add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, only adding another ladle when the previous ladle of liquid has been absorbed, stirring almost all of the time.
At about fifteen to eighteen minutes, quickly reheat the mushrooms and asparagus and then add them to the risotto, stirring thoroughly.
Continue adding the ladles of stock until the rice is properly done: twenty minutes or so.
Determine proper doneness by tasting regularly. When it is just al dente, with a little creaminess, it is ready.
Take off the heat. Stir in the parmesan, and the tablespoon of butter. Taste for salt and pepper. We let it sit, covered, for a minute or two. Serve with a sprig of parsley for garnish.