Say what you want, but some things smell like spring: that special light that makes green brighter, rainstorms, the smell of fresh cut grass (I could also say allergy to grass, but I would have ruined the poetry. Ooops, I just did, didn't I?), the desire to go out for a ride on a moped, although you don't really have a place to go. Then the craving for a picnic, an on the road trip, ice cream, a beer outdoor, putting aside boots to rediscover sandals. And then strawberries, fresh peas (don't throw anything away .. did you ever eat the peas' skins, just stewed in butter? Wonderful!) and, of course, asparagus.
About the subject of this post, asparagus, it's an elegant vegetable (I know this is not a key feature, but I find it elegant), delicate and yet intense in taste, very particular. I love asparagus, just hard boiled and served with a simple mayonnaise, topped with melted butter and baked with some Parmigiano, wrapped in prosciutto cotto or prosciutto crudo, or used to make one of the most classic risotto.
Of course, if they wouldn't have that side effect that we all know, they would be even more adorable!
Ingredients (4 servings)
* unsalted butter
* a small onion, finely chopped
* a bunch of asparagus
* 400 g carnaroli rise (huge servings)
* half a glass of white wine
* vegetable stock (a liter or more)
* grated Parmigiano Reggiano
In a skillet large enough to contain the rice during cooking, melt a knob of butter; sauté the onion until translucent. Meanwhile, wash, clean and slice asparagus (after you've removed the hardest part of the stem), keeping the tips entire. Put the asparagus into stew along with the onion for about ten minutes, season with salt.
Now add the rice into the pan and toast it for a couple of minutes, simmer with white wine and then let the rice cook, gradually adding ladles of vegetable broth, until it's cooked (it will take about 20 minutes).
Turn off the heat and stir in a knob of butter and a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano.