Tomato & Wild Asparagus Risotto with Involtini & Salted Ricotta
So if you have been paying attention, in the previous few posts of mine, you will have noticed that I bought some lovely wild asparagus on Saturday- and that I also had a wonderful light evening meal of salad on beef carpaccio as well. Then there was the angels hair spaghetti with asparagus. And the frittata. Hey! What am I to do? I live alone and it takes a while to work your way through a bundle of asparagus on your own!
Well, this Monday evening, I had a slice of carpaccio left, as well as the last of the asparagus- and I did want to make use of it whilst it was still perky and fresh! One thing is for sure- "waste not; want not" is a turn of phrase that is very dear to my heart. And it would have been a sin to have let such wonderful produce go to waste!
So, this incredibly wonderful looking dish is essentially made from leftovers. Ain't that somethin'?
Fort the risotto, I began with the classic sofritto- finely diced carrot, celery and onion. I sautéed them in a little olive oil and as soon as the onion became translucent, added the arborio rice and a little crushed garlic. Once this was nicely coated in oil, I added a couple of tablespoons of tomato past and continued frying. I then added a good pinch of oregano and a bay leaf or two. After a minute or so, I deglazed the saucepan with a good splash of white wine and some hot vegetable broth.
And then the stirring began! You know the score- add a ladleful of broth and stir until it becomes absorbed, repeat over and over until the rice becomes soft and creamy. Only this time, after 10 minutes of cooking, I added the finely chopped stalks of the asparagus- I saved the more tender end pieces to fill the involtini, but we will get to that in just a minute...
After a further 5 minutes of stirring and adding broth as I went along, I added a good handful of finely chopped herbs- basil and parsley and the sliced cocktail tomatoes. I saved adding both the herbs and the tomatoes until a later point in time, shortly before completion, so as to not overcook them- which would have meant losing the color and freshness of the herbs and the consistency of the tomatoes.
At this point, I blanched the asparagus briefly- just for 1 minute, in salted water, then drained then and rinsed them with cold water before wrapping them in the paper-thin carpaccio meat. I fried the rolls at a high heat in olive oil, with plenty of cracked black pepper, a little finely chopped garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt.
As soon as the risotto was ready, I served it up, with the little asparagus rolls on top and a light sprinkle of salted ricotta cheese... perfect! I just love making something out of nothing... especially when the something turns out like this!