Spring Risotto

A dish of risotto provides supreme comfort on a still-chilly spring night. I use homemade chicken broth in mine, but commercial broth will also give a nice result. If you are “in funds,” as the British say, by all means use proscuitto, although I prefer tiny cubes of the good smoked ham that I buy locally. The simplicity of this dish demands true Parmigiano-Reggiano. Leftovers make good croquettes, shaped into patties and cooked in a skillet in olive oil until crisp and brown on both sides. –Robin Mather
By / Photography By Robin Mather | April 07, 2015

Preparation

  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat. Combine the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the rice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to coat well, until the grains of rice have become translucent with a pearly “eye.”
  2. Add 1 cup of the broth; cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Continue adding broth by small ladlefuls, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more, until the rice is creamy and tender but still firm to the bite, 20 to 25 minutes in all. Add the asparagus and diced ham during last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and the salt. Divide the risotto among four pasta bowls. Serve immediately.

About this recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions, white and tender green parts
  • 1 1/4 cups short-grained risotto rice, such as Arborio
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends removed, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely diced smoked ham
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

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