This is a very easy meal to make and is quite impressive looking presentation-wise, so is excellent for when you have to cook for guests. The strong and salty flavour of the asparagus & parma ham go really well with the creaminess of the risotto. Serve with crusty bread and white wine.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
- 400g risotto rice
- 1 large glass of white wine
- 2 medium sized onions, chopped semi finely
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- A litre of boiled water from the kettle
- 1 and a half chicken stock cubes
- 200g pancetta cubes (or bacon cubes/lardon)
- Pepper, thyme and rosemary
- Parmesan cheese (lots!)
- 12 asparagus (chopped from the tip to be about 10cm long)
- 4 parma ham slices
Preheat the oven to 180C. Wrap bundles of three asparagus in one parma ham and brush with a generous coating of olive oil. Once the oven is ready, place the 4 bundles on a grilling rack.
Fry the onions, pancetta and garlic in a large frying pan with high sides (or a pot if you don’t have a pan) in butter. Add in the risotto rice to heat it up. After a few minutes pour in the wine and stir frequently.
Add a large amount of water from the kettle and the stock cubes. The water will be soaked into the risotto and you’ll need to keep topping up the water for amount 20 minutes until the rice has swollen to 3 times the size and is no longer chewy. You will need to constantly stir as the rice tends to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a sprinkling of black pepper, thyme & rosemary.
Finally when the rice is ready, stir in a pile of grated parmesan cheese. The asparagus should be cooked by now too, so take those out the oven. Put a dollop of risotto on a plate with an asparagus bundle placed on top. Enjoy!