About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms | Main | Risotto with Celery »

Risotto with Asparagus

Risotto is another dish I hoped to first try in Italy. Over the years I’ve watched Lidia, Mario, and Giada make risotto on television with great ease. All the same I wanted to make sure my first taste would be authentic. So, I have opted not to prepare it before now. This week I approached the recipe with great hope for a positive result.

I made the risotto with imported Carnaroli rice. This dish is also made with a wonderful homemade meat broth. The broth has a light golden color and a taste I cannot accurately describe with words. I was delighted with every ladle I added to the rice. The aroma was so wonderful I daydreamed of a heat-proof bodysuit and magic powers to shrink myself to three inches tall so I could backstroke in the pan.

While everything smelled wonderful, I felt like I might be doing something wrong. Surely, this does not take this long to cook I wondered often. I stirred and stirred waiting impatiently for the rice to soften. I was so glad Marcella gave such detailed instructions. I leaned on them through my doubt.

The risotto is studded with pieces of asparagus. The finishing touch is mixing in butter and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. It is creamy and tender but not mushy with each grain having a firm center. It tasted great also. I was so pleased with the result I topped it with a "V" for victory.

Risotto with Asparagus

©2010 Irene D. Ericson

Comments (5)

Sharon L:

Beautiful, Irene! My mouth is watering just looking at your photo! This asparagus risotto from Marcella is a favorite in our house, too.

Marcella Hazan:

Irene, you have never missed the bus before and you haven't now. The risotto looks perfect, just the right runny texture for a vegetable risotto. If you keep the rice bubbling steadily and always with just enough liquid, it should take you 25 minutes. It takes me that exactly each time. Congratulations! I hope you are encouraged to do it often.

"V" for Victory indeed, Irene. It looks scrumptious!

Irene, It's magnifico!!!!

Ray Anne:

Your risotto looks delicious. Equally delightful is your wonderful prose. I loved the image you created of "backstroking in the pan".

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