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ASPARAGUS AND SHITAKE RISOTTO

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Ingredients

The Asparagus:

1 large bunch of asparagus

3 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

 

The Risotto:

3 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet onion, chopped

6 large garlic cloves chopped

¾ pound shitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

3-3 ½ cups chicken stock

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)

¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Chop the woody ends (about 2-3”) off the ends of the asparagus spears, then chop the remaining part in half and spread evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss with your hands to evenly coat all of the asparagus pieces.  Bake for 10 minutes until the asparagus is crisp tender and fragrant.  Remove from oven and set aside.

To make the risotto heat the butter and olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.  Sauté the onions until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the rice to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is coated and toasty.

At this point, stirring almost constantly is required to create a creamy delicious result.  Add the wine to the pan and stir until almost completely absorbed and the bottom of the pan shows no liquid when you pull the rice to the side.  Gradually add the chicken stock in ½ cup increments, stirring constantly, waiting to add more stock until the liquid is almost fully absorbed.  Continue adding the stock until the rice is plump and tender (but with some ‘tooth’) when you taste it – not mushy.  You may not need all of the stock.

Add the salt, pepper, and heavy cream to the pan.  Stir to combine and let the cream absorb, about 1 minute.  Add the parmesan, parsley, and asparagus to the rice and stir to fully combine, about 1-2 minutes.

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