Even since I made this almost hands-free version of risotto, I have been wondering how it compares to the workout version – where you stir for at least 20 minutes. Of course I have made risotto before, but I felt like I needed to make it again, just to be absolutely sure. Plus, I felt like my arm needed a little exercise – typing on the computer all day does nothing for me. I was ready.
I took this recipe out of the pantry that I found in Cooking Light, adapted it slightly to my taste, and to what I had in the refrigerator – and off I went. I couldn’t believe it – but it tasted exactly the same. This batch of risotto was really no better (except for the fact that it had some delicious fresh asparagus and beautifully roasted cherry tomatoes) than the hands-free version. I guess there is really no need to ever stir risotto by hand again, unless your arm really needs to get some energy out (like we say to our kids – go run around outside, get that energy out).
This technique for roasting cherry tomatoes is also excellent over pasta with some bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese – my neighbor has an awesome recipe that I will make soon and get it on the blog. Perfect for those vine ripened cherry tomatoes that you will start seeing in the next couple of months – or if you live in Seattle, maybe next summer.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 5 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°.
Toss 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes on a parchment-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until tomatoes burst.
Heat 5 1/2 cups broth in a saucepan over medium heat (do not boil).
Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add rice; cook 1 minute. Stir in white wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Add asparagus to pan with last 1/2 cup of broth. Remove from heat; grate 1 ounce cheese. Stir in grated cheese, remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt, and juice. Spoon about 1 3/4 cups risotto into each of 4 bowls; top evenly with tomatoes. Shave remaining cheese evenly over each serving; sprinkle with pepper.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Asparagus Risotto with Oven Roasted Tomatoes