Risotto with peas, asparagus and Balsamic Vinegar

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I’m definitely not a fussy eater. I really eat everything, if well cooked and with good ingredients. I just don’t consider the cooking mix you can buy at the supermarket. If I were at school during the math lesson, “food” and “cooking mix” would be two disjoint sets.

Anyway, I’m really a good eater and the list of the food I’ve already tried isn’t so short. But sometimes I realize I have never tasted something very usual. For example last year, when my friend Roberta confessed that she loved raw peas, it was quite a discovery for me. I have eaten cooked peas for my whole life, why haven’t I ever thought to try the raw version?!

Since that moment I started a love affair with raw peas. While I pod them, half end up in the pan, the other half in my belly.

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So, when I first saw this risotto made by Cesare Battisti, great chef of Ratanà Restaurant in Milano and Chef Ambassador for Expo 2015. I slightly changed the recipe, both the ingredients and the procedure, following my instinct and some creativity. Moreover I wanted to add two ingredients I’ve tasted during my road trip in Emilia Romagna: the Balsamic Vinegar IGP Acetaia Giusti and squacquerone, a fresh cheese.

So amazing!

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RISOTTO WITH PEAS, ASPARAGUS AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Ingredients for 2/3 people

100 g fresh peas, already podded
4 asparagus
1 spring onion, just the white part
250 g Carnaroli rice
50 g squacquerone
30 g grated Parmesan
evoo
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP
vegetable stock
eatable flowers

Prepare a vegetable stock. You can also add the green part of the spring onion and the final part of the asparagus.

Keep 10 raw peas aside.
Put half of the peas and half of the asparagus into the juicer.
Remove the asparagus tips, and keep them aside; cut the other half of the asparagus, and sauté them in a pan with the remaining peas for a couple of minutes. Then mix the sautéed veggies with the squacquerone cheese, until smooth and creamy.
Now sauté the asparagus tips for two minutes; they have to be crunchy.

Slice the spring onion thinly and let it sauté in a pan with four spoons of evoo, without burning the onion. Toast the rice in the same pan for some minutes at medium heat, until it gets translucent and pretty warm. Season with salt and start adding the stock, one spoonful at a time. When the rice is almost cooked, after 12 min, substitute the stock with the peas and asparagus juice, and a spoon of the squacquerone and veggies cream. When the rice is ready, remove the pan from the heat and stir into the rice the remaining squacquerone cream and the grated parmesan, better if chilled. Let the risotto rest with a lid for three minutes.

Serve the risotto and garnish with raw peas, the sautéed asparagus tips, edible flowers and some drops of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP.

My tip:

A secret for a creamy risotto is to add at the end chilled parmesan and butter. The thermal shock is a guarantee of extreme creaminess.

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This post is also available in: Italian

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