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Friday, April 10, 2015

Lemon-Scented Risotto

I remember there was a time that risotto was incredibly intimidating to me. I'd read the instructions and there seemed to be so many steps that I was just immediately turned off to the idea... until one day when I actually tried it. I thank Alessia Simoncini Cicco, and Adam Howel, two good friends who introduced me to the flavor and the process, and you what? It's actually just adding broth and stirring constantly. Super easy, if still a little time intensive. And to that I say, "it's the perfect thing to cook while watching your fave sitcom."
Aaron gave this 4.5 stars, even though he doesn't typically like risotto... which is the only reason he didn't give it 5 stars. ...i'll take that. :) 
I chop the onion into very small pieces in my food processor. 
Also, you can add more cheese if you like, it just mutes the flavor of the lemon. So i find that the given measurements create a perfect balance of flavors. 

Lemon Scented Risotto

1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into bite pieces, blanched and shocked
3/4 cups frozen green peas, thawed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 lb. Pancetta, sliced thin and diced (or Bacon)
1 1/4 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry, white wine
6-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
literally, only a pinch of salt
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

Begin by blanching and shocking your asparagus (i.e. boil for 2 minutes, then immediately remove with a slotted spoon into a prepared iced bath).

Begin simmering broth over low heat in a large saucepan.

In a deep, 10" skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add your onion and saute until they're soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for about one more minute, or until aromatic. Add pancetta, stirring to break up the meat a bit, until it's slightly crispy. Add rice and stir to combine with all the ingredients. 

Add the white wine and stir until it's almost all absorbed. At this point, begin adding your chicken broth: Start by adding two cups, stirring almost constantly, until broth is almost all absorbed. Add another cup of broth and repeat this process of stir, add broth, stir, add broth, etc. until the rice is soft and creamy. It can take anywhere from 25-35 minutes. After the first two or three times of adding broth, go ahead and add your asparagus, peas, and pinch of salt.

Once risotto has come to the correct the consistency, remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, followed by the lemon zest. 

Serve immediately.