In my last post, I had an interview with Luca Manfe from the Master Chef show…and I asked him if I could feature a star recipe of his with my readers. Since all I wanted to do after my interview with Luca was run to the kitchen, I made his risotto yesterday and took some photos so you could see how delicious it was!
I gotta make a note though first…I didn’t have all the ingredients and I used white rice instead of Arborio rice which makes the recipe a lot less creamy. SO these photos do not look as CREAMY as it it should be.
That aside, here’s Lucas, to share his magic with us!
“Despite not having so much success on the show with my infamous fish sauce risotto, risotto is one of my favorite dishes to make and eat. I want to share with you the recipe that my wife likes the best for summer. It’s my asparagus and lemon risotto.
Asparagus and Lemon Risotto
- 1-3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 4 -1/4 cups water (or pre-made vegetable stock)
- 2 lemons (just the zest)
- 15 asparagus stalks
- 1 onion*
- 1 carrot*
- 1 celery bulk*
- 1 cup of white wine
- 1 shallots, diced the size of a grain of rice
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
*If making your own vegetable stock
Cut the shallot in very small cubes. Wash and cut asparagus in half saving the tougher part of the stalks for the vegetable stock. Being very delicate, peel the side of the asparagus and cut them in 1/2 inch pieces. Save 8 tips for decoration.
You can buy the vegetable stock or make in advance. If making your own, take a large sauce pan with 1 liter of cold water, 1 onion, 1 carrot, the celery and the asparagus stalks. Cover and bring it to a boil.
Wash the lemons and grate the zest making sure to stay very light because you don’t want to grate the white part of the zest (because it is very bitter).
Wash the parsley and chopped very finely. Take the butter and the cheese out from the fridge.
Now you are ready to start your risotto. This will take around 25 minutes. You will need to stay in front of your pot and not go anywhere because risotto needs a lot of attention and love.
In a large sauce pan heat up table spoon of EVOO and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted and very hot add the rice and toast it. When the rice starts to change color (just a little bit) add the shallots and mix. Let it cook for 60 seconds and then add the wine. When the rice absorbed the wine you can start to add the very, very hot vegetable stock. This is the time when you will start seriously stirring the rice and will stop. It is the most important thing about a risotto. Never stop stirring.
Just look at the rice and you will know when you need to add the stock again. When the rice starts to get to dry, that is the moment. A little at a time, not too much. After 10 minutes add the asparagus and keep on stirring.
After 16-17 minutes you can start to taste the rice. Probably it’s still too al dente, but you will understand more or less how much more you need. The rice is ready when the bite is soft but you still get a crunch in the middle. Usually at the 19-20 minute mark it’s ready.
At this point, TURN OFF THE HEAT, add the lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan cheese and butter.
Stir very, very vigorously! This process is called “mantecatura” and will make your risotto super creamy. At this point taste again and add salt and pepper to taste. I never add salt in advance because Parmesan cheese is very salty.
Serve in flat plates and garnish with the asparagus tips.
Thanks again Luca! I so enjoyed making this and sharing it with my family!
I didn’t have all the ingredients or the right kind of rice (I used white rice), so my recipe didn’t turn out exactly as Luca probably would’ve made it…but it was absolutely scrummy. Now I’m excited about trying other kinds of risotto with brown rice or maybe even try it with quinoa!
Have you ever made risotto? Are you keeping up with the MasterChef show?
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