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Authentic Risotto like you would get if you were in Italy! 

Creamy Risotto with fresh vegetables

Creamy Risotto with Fresh Garden Peas & Asparagus

Fresh garden peas in the pod are at their sweet peak of flavor in the spring and summer. I combined the risotto with the fresh snappy green goodness of asparagus.
I’m not going to lie and say this is a quick recipe. It’s not, it needs lots of loving attention to turn out authentic taste like you would if you were in Italy. You do need to stand over it for at least 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly to bring out the creaminess of the dish and have the arborio rice cooked aldente. That means the rice is not mushy but has a tiny bit of a bite. You should taste the rice to make sure it’s not overcooking. If you follow the instructions below you will have a risotto that will absolutely WOW everyone. I serve it as a first course with plenty of fresh Parmesan cheese! It’s always a HUGE hit!


6 to 8 servings


1 cup of fresh peas removed from pods and blanched for 5 minutes in boiling water, drain rinsed with cool water, set aside
1 cup of asparagus tips blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water, drain rinse with cool water, set aside
2 quarts of  chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic chicken or vegetable broth, heated through
2 teaspoons crushed saffron threads
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
zest from 1 lemon


Combine the chicken or vegetable broth and saffron in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add oil, butter, onions, and salt. Saute just until the onions turn translucent and are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to medium.
Add 2 cups of the warm broth and the white wine to cover the rice. Mix well. Bring to a soft boil until the liquid is halfway down.
Stir in 1 cup of broth, stirring for 3 minutes, add another cup of broth and simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Add 1-1/2 cups more broth, stirring constantly, cook it half way down and  keep adding broth 1/2 cup at a time continue stirring constantly to keep the rice creamy.
Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked through but still a bit firm in the center.
Stir in the asparagus, peas, Parmesan cheese, and lemon zest,  and mix. Adjust the seasoning add more salt if necessary.
Serve the Risotto with a lemon wedge on the side and extra Parmesan Cheese!
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