1/2 cup finely chopped smoked ham (about 3 ounces)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup shelled green peas (about 1 pound unshelled)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Cook beans in boiling water 1 minute; drain. Plunge beans into ice water; drain. Remove tough outer skins from beans; discard skins. Set aside.
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add asparagus to pan; cook 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus from pan with a slotted spoon; rinse under cold water. Set aside. Add broth to boiling water; reduce heat. Keep warm over low heat. Reserve 3/4 cup broth mixture; keep warm.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and ham to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in wine, and cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add the remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).
Stir in peas, reserved beans, and reserved asparagus. Add reserved 3/4 cup broth mixture, stirring until liquid is absorbed (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup cheese, cream, butter, salt, and pepper. Place about 1 cup risotto into each of 6 shallow bowls; sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons remaining cheese.
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I can't get fresh favas where I live, so I substituted a half cup of limas, lightly steamed. Also never have whipping cream around (too fattening and irresistible) but evaporated nonfat milk worked well here. Otherwise, I made this as written, and it was very delicious, pretty to look at, and kind of special. I had tiny asparagus from the farmer's market and I chopped the ham and onion very fine. Risotto is labor-intensive but worth it! Took this to a potluck and it was devoured.
This is an absolute favorite in our house. I never add the fava beans (thus eliminating a few calories), but otherwise follow the recipe as written. It is constantly requested. The patience and time while stirring and adding liquid in stages is worth it - don't rush!
I substituted edamame for the fava beans and left out apsaragus. Overall it was pretty good, but I think there was too much liquid. Not sure if that was because of the substitutions, but I might reduce liquid by 1/2 cup next time. My family loved it. I would make it the next time I have lefover ham.
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