Risotto alla Primavera, from Northern Italy
This is a favorite spring recipe, especially in the Northern regions of Italy, where rice is on an almost equal standing with pasta. While this recipe calls for asparagus and peas only, you may also add other vegetables, such as zucchini, artichoke hearts or small tomatoes…
Keep broth simmering in saucepan. Melt 1 tbsp. of butter with oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, leek and garlic. Sauté until wilted and almost tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir until rice is translucent at edges but still opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Add wine, simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 1 minute. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time until rice is about half cooked, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in asparagus, peas and parsley (and other veggies, as you wish). Continue adding broth and stirring until rice is almost tender. Cook until rice is tender, but still firm and mixture is creamy…Remove from heat. Add the Parmesan cheese and the remaining butter. Stir until cheese and butter melt. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing additional cheese alongside.