Our version of this Italian rice dish uses a method that takes up less of your time in the kitchen and involves less cream and rich ingredients, but still creates a perfectly fluffy risotto, packed with plenty of flavor and lots of veggies.
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 4-5 cups water or chicken stock
- ½ medium yellow or white onion
- 1 large leek, white parts only, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 bell peppers, colors of your choice, diced into 1/2
- 1 bunch of asparagus, bottoms cut off, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large lemon, zest + juice
- ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare all ingredients.
- In a medium or large sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil on medium-low heat. Sauté the leeks and the onions with olive oil, stirring every couple of minutes so they do not brown. Once translucent, after about 5 minutes, add in the rice. Stir and coat with olive oil. Allow the rice to toast slightly. Add in 1 cup of the water or chicken stock. Stir and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes. Once rice has soaked up the majority of the water, add in another cup, stir and allow the water to be soaked up again, approximately 7 minutes.
- Add in the peppers and the remaining 2 cups of liquid. Cover and cook on low for 25 more minutes, occasionally checking to ensure it’s not burning on the bottom.
- Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus: boil water in a saucepan, add in asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, until it turns bright green. Drain in a colander and run cold water over it. Reserve on the side.
- Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add in the cheese, stir and taste. Reserve covered on the stovetop. Once ready to serve, turn back on to high heat and then add in the asparagus, cook for 2 minutes or until it’s hot. Take off heat, sprinkle with more cheese and serve.
Make the rice the morning of a dinner party or the night before, covered in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.