Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Risotto with asparagus and prosciutto (or using up party leftovers in creative ways)

I wanted to use the leftover prosicutto and asparagus rolls from the party, so I figured on cutting those into chunks and putting it in a risotto.

Then I figured I could also add the leftover mushroom and tarragon filling from the mushroom cups. I had maybe a cup of it left and it would add some creaminess and earthiness.

I also had about 6 slices of prosciutto and 12 asparagus spear left that I did not use for the rolls, so in they went, too.

(I also had a lot of leftover tomato and basil bruschetta. I just set that to boil for a few hours until it reduced into a nice sauce for pasta. Then I portioned it out and stuck it in the freezer.)

First up, a simple risotto that serves as the base for whatever ingredients YOU like to toss in there.

1/2 stick of butter

1 small onion, chopped

2 small garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups risotto

4 cups broth (I used what I had, which was a mix of veggie and chicken)

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

start broth heating in a small sauce pan

in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until soft

add the rice and stir to coat it in the butter

cook, stirring frequently, until rice looks milky, about 10 minutes

slowly add heated broth to rice and continue to stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil

reduce heat and boil gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

Once the rice is al dente or cooked to your liking (it will be a bit sticky, that is just the way risotto is since it is so starchy), toss in whatever ingredients you like. I had the asparagus and prosciutto (I tossed the raw asparagus in a couple minutes before rice was done since it had to cook a little to catch up to the asparagus from the party).

I have made this in the past with some frozen peas and prosciutto.

It's also good with some frozen artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, grilled shrimp, sliced mushrooms, a drizzle of truffle oil if you are feeling decadent ... Pretty much anything.

I finished the dish by stirring in the Parmesan and parsley.

And it went quite well with a bottle of wine that was opened, but not finished at the party: 2004 Francis Coppola Black Label Claret.

Thanks again for that, Bob.

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