SERVES 4 TO 6 PEOPLE AS AN APPETIZER
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
5 cups vegetable broth
1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and sauté the onion until it is transparent. Add the rice and mix it with the butter to coat the grains; cook until the rice looks toasted and has a light caramel color.
Start adding the broth, a little at a time, stirring constantly. When the liquid is absorbed, add a little more of the broth and continue until all the broth has been added.
Pour the completed mixture out onto a buttered marble board and smooth it to a depth of 1/2-inch. Try to form the risotto into a 6 to 9-inch square so that the serving portions will be fairly symmetrical. Lightly score the top of the rice into 3 to 4-inch squares. Allow the mixture to set up for 5 to 10 minutes.
Clean the asparagus and discard any tough ends. Slice them into bite-size lengths, cutting them on the diagonal. Sauté the asparagus in the same frying pan until the tip of a knife penetrates easily. Reheat the serving-size squares of risotto and top with the asparagus. Serve immediately.
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