Ultimate risotto primavera

We consulted no less than three great Italian cooks to come up with this classic spring vegetable risotto

  • Cook:1 hrs 10 mins
    Ready in 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 702
  • fat 30g
  • saturates 16g
  • carbs 82g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 7g
  • protein 26g
  • salt 2g


  • 200g shelled broad beans 800g/1lb 12oz in the pod)
  • 4 medium shallots
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 250g bunch asparagus
  • 1.3l good quality chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 85g butter
  • 350g Carnaroli rice (or Arborio or Vialone)
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 140g shelled peas
  • 100g parmesan, finely grated


  1. If using fresh broad beans, drop them into boiling water, leave for 1 min, then drain and cool under cold water. Peel off the skins. For frozen beans, just thaw, then peel. Chop the shallots, spring onions and garlic as finely as you possibly can. Snap the woody bases from the asparagus spears and discard. Slice each spear into 4 diagonal pieces. Pour the stock into a separate pan and bring to a simmer.

  2. Heat the oil and half the butter in a heavy, wide pan. Tip in the shallots, spring onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 mins until soft and see-through, but not brown, stirring often. With the heat on medium, add the rice and keep it moving with a wooden spoon for a few mins so it gets toasted, but not coloured, and very hot. Once it starts to hiss and sizzle, pour in the wine. Keep stirring for about a min until the wine has evaporated.

  3. Put the timer on for 20 mins (it takes 18-20 mins to add the stock), now add 11?2 ladles of stock, letting it simmer, not boil. Keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed, scraping the sides of the pan to catch any stray bits of rice. Continue to stir and add a ladleful of stock once the previous amount has been absorbed. (If you add too much stock at a time the risotto won’t be as creamy.) The rice tells you when it needs more stock. You will hear it sigh and when you pull a spoon across the bottom of the pan it should leave a clear line

  4. After 14 mins add the beans and peas to the rice with some seasoning. At the same time, drop the asparagus into the stock and let it simmer for 4 mins, then lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the rice. Start tasting the rice now too – when done it should be softened, but with a bit of bite in the centre, almost chewy, and the risotto creamy – overcooking just makes it mushy. Continue adding stock and stirring until done (you may have a little stock left). Take the pan off the heat, add half the parmesan and the rest of the butter plus a splash of stock to keep everything moist. Put the lid on the pan and leave for 3 mins to rest. Serve with the remaining parmesan.

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