Awhile back, I decided to pull out a bunch of our wedding presents, set a formal table and fix a fancy supper for Matt and me. I wanted to try my hand at something new to justify the hand washing of the table setting, and I decided it was finally time to try risotto. This was before Christina found the weeknight staple risotto, and I was downright skerrrred of all the stirring and sticking and every other unreasonable fear of risotto that many of you are likely still paralyzed by. I had bookmarked this recipe on Pink Parsley and decided to go for both the salmon and the risotto and they were both outstanding.
Since that fateful night this past spring, I occasionally bust out the champagne risotto as a special treat for Matt. He loves it, and I can find no fault in a recipe that calls for 3/4 cup of champagne. After all, what does one do with the rest of the bottle, aside from sip it while cooking? (Are you sold on making this recipe this weekend yet? You DESERVE that champagne after slaving over this pot of risotto.)
shamelessly stolen from Pink Parsley
4 thin slices proscuitto
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
12 asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup Arborio rice
3/4 cup champagne
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 450. Place the proscuitto slices on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake until they are almost completely crisp, 6-8 minutes. The slices will crisp up even more as they cool. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the broth.
Blanch the asparagus spears in the broth for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Set the asparagus aside and keep the broth at a low simmer.
In a large, heavy bottom skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter. Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat in the butter. Continue toasting the rice, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.
Add the champagne and simmer until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the broth and stir until almost completely absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes.
Continue cooking the rice, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each additon of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove from heat.
Gently stir in the asparagus, the remaining tablespoon of butter, the Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Spoon the risotto into serving dishes and garnish by breaking the crisp proscuitto into smaller pieces over the risotto.
- For the love, do not leave out the butter. Or the proscuitto. This is not the time to count your calories, if my suggestion to toast your hard work with the rest of the champagne was not indication enough.
- Use lots and lots of parmesan. (see note above.) As Tina would tell you, GRATE YOUR OWN.
- The night I made this risotto recently, I was out of chicken broth and had no desire to drive all the way to the grocery store when I realized it. I made it with water, and while it was still delicious, it is much , much better with chicken broth.