one big bunch of asparagus
half cup chopped basil
half cup chopped flat parsley
one tablespoon butter
one cup diced sweet onion
one cup dry white wine
one quart stock (chicken or vegetable), diluted 1:1 with asparagus water to make two quarts
two cups vialone nano rice (or arborio or carnaroli)
fresh-ground black pepper
juice of one lemon
half cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Cut the tops of the asparagus off and boil for a minute or two in salty water. Remove and reserve. Then boil the bottoms for about five minutes in the same water, until they are really soft. (If you are using the bigger kind of asparagus, with really tough bottoms, you might need to cut off and discard the bottom inch, but these are baby asparagus and very tender all the way to the bottom.)
Put the asparagus bottoms, the basil, and the parsley in the blender with about three quarter cups of of the asparagus water and puree the living fucke out of it.
Sautee the onions with plenty of black pepper in oilve oil with one tablespoon butter, until the onions are very soft.
Throw the rice in and continue to sautee until the rice is well coated with oil and smelling toasty, about two or three minutes.
Add the wine and cook with stirring until the liquid is mostly boiled off.
Cook the rice as usual, stirring and ladling in already-simmering broth until the rice has a good bite in the center and has released plenty of starch. The heat should be at a level where it is simmering vigorously but not violently, and at the correct level it should take fifteen-to-eighteen minutes.
Add one cup and a little more of the pureeed asparagus and continue to cook for a minute or so.
Add the asparagus and cook for another minute, with very gentle stirring.
Turn off the heat, add the cheese and lemon juice, and stir well to incorporate. At this point, you can add some more of the simmering broth to loosen it up, depending how you like it.
Plate it, making a little depression in the middle. Crack an egg into the depression, grate some additional parmigiano reggiano, and garnish with a little basil and/or parsley. After serving, stir up the egg into the risotto, which should be hot enough to cook the egg. YUM!
If you don’t want to use an egg, it’s fine: just add a couple tablespoons of butter when you incorporate the cheese in the cooking pot. This recipe is also adapted pretty closely from Urban Italian, by Andrew Carmellini.