Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Risotto agli Aspargi al Forno

Roasted Asparagus Risotto

Some people might say that vegan food is not as delicious, savory, or creamy as non-vegan food, and I hope to prove them wrong with this yummy risotto. For many vegans, the hardest thing to give up are cheeses and creamy foods. This problem is a small one, but with a good Italian risotto, you can have your cream, and eat it too. Here in Rome, people have a very pasta heavy diet. In fact, Romans eat more pasta per person than in any other part of Italy. Making a risotto is a fun escape from the world of pasta, and it is a great alternative for when you have a gluten intolerant guest. In this recipe we are using Italian Arborio rice which is a very starchy short grain rice, that, with proper treatment, can give your food a rich creamy texture without the addition of butter and/or cream. Although risotto is relatively simple to make, be careful that you continuously stir the rice or it will quickly burn. To get a more creamy texture and flavor, gradually stir in the broth, instead of adding in all in at once.


400g. of fresh asparagus, trimmed

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium golden onion(sliced)

2 cups arborio rice

1/4 cup of dry Italian white wine(I use Frascati)

6 cups of vegetable broth

Coarse Salt(to taste, I used about 1 tablespoon, but my broth is salty anyway)


Pre-heat oven to 220 C

In an oiled baking pan, toss the asparagus with 1/4 cup olive oil and coarse salt, then put them in the oven for 10 minutes. While they are roasting,

On medium heat in a non stick deep pan(non-stick great for sticky risotto), simmer 1/4 cup olive oil and white wine and sliced onions

heat the onions until they are more or less clear and then remove them from the oil, leaving the oil in the pan.

Stir in rice into the hot oil and stir for about 2 minutes so the rice absorbs onion flavor, and is slightly toasted

Make sure to stir well, and slowly, you don't want the rice to burn.

Slowly stir in a cup of broth on low/medium heat, until it is absorbed and then stir in another cup of broth, and continue until you have stirred in all the broth.

While you are stirring the broth into the risotto, check on the asparagus, about ten minutes after placing them in oven, and if they have slightly browned, turn them over for another 5-10 minutes until both sides are brown.

After asparagus are done, slice then in 1-2 inch pieces

Throw them into the risotto pan,

And stir them in. The five cups of broth should have been adequate, but if not, add water and always stir. Stir until the texture is creamy and the rice is al dente

VoilĂ !!

We enjoyed this with a bottle of non-oaked Chardonnay from Alto Adige.