This risotto is a lot more lemony than you might expect, so get ready for some bracing tang along with the rich cheeses.
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 pound asparagus, bottom ends cut or snapped off
1 teaspoon plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta such as Bellwether Farms
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/3 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 large lemons)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces finely shredded Spring Hill or Vella Dry jack cheese or parmesan, plus 1 oz. shaved, using a vegetable peeler
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°. Set a rack in a rimmed baking sheet and lay prosciutto slices on rack.
Arrange asparagus in a single layer on another baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tsp. oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Bake prosciutto and asparagus until prosciutto is crisp and very light brown around the edges, about 8 minutes, and asparagus is a little darker and tender when pricked with the tip of a knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove both from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut asparagus into 1-in. pieces. Break prosciutto into small shards.
Pour broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Heat remaining oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until limp but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until edges turn bright white, 5 minutes. Add wine; bring to a boil and cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add one ladleful, about 1/2 cup, of broth to rice and cook, stirring, until almost completely absorbed by rice. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender to the bite, 15 to 30 minutes (you will have broth left over).
Stir in mint, ricotta, peas (if using fresh), and lemon juice and stir until most of lemon juice is absorbed. Add butter and shredded cheese; stir until well mixed. Stir in peas (if frozen), asparagus, and pepper to taste.
Divide risotto among bowls or plates. Top with prosciutto crisps and sprinkle with shaved cheese. Serve immediately.
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This was delicious, and garnered many compliments from our guests. We had a smilar dish in Italy which I really wanted to recreate- this was just like i remembered, except for the texture. I would really love a video on this, as perfecting the technique for a successful risotto is still a goal. This was somewhat gummy at the end, and I don't know if it was the additional cheeses and butter, or the way I cooked it. I had intended to cut back on the lemon juice, but I added the whole amount to good effect- it added a nice tang without being overpowering. I will definitely try this again.