Asparagus are a typical Veronese ingredient in spring time. Those are white and bigger than the green one, and more delicate in taste. The best region of production is in Arcole (south east of Verona) and the best asparagus take the name of the city, so “Asparagi di Arcole”. The term Asparagus means “sprout” and in fact with strawberries, are the first crops of spring. When in Italian table asparagus appear, it means spring has come.
The best match is with the rice, that is also cultivated in the southern part of Verona , in Isola della Scala and in fact Verona was the first place in Italy where rice was planted in 16th century. The dish we propose in the Asparagus risotto, that is quite typical in Easter time. This dish pairs excellently with a glass of Soave DOC, we paired it with Soave wine from Cantine Gini.
First, prepare a meat salted broth in a pan. It will be added in the risotto later
Cook the asparagus for about 15 minutes in boiling hot salted water (Depending on the size of the asparagus). It is important that the top part of the asparagus remains out of the water, they should not be completely cooked because they are going to be added in the rice.
In a pan add the white onions (thinly sliced), the garlic and the EVO olive oil and brown them over a medium heat. Then, put the rice in the pan and stir until the rice becomes translucent. Add salt and pepper. Now, add the asparagus followed by the broth. Cover the rice with the broth and stir as little as possible. It is important that the rice absorbs the broth evenly. If the rice become too dry, add more broth, but only if necessary. When the rice is ready, turn off the stove and add butter, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and stir making sure the cheese melts and is well mixed. Stir quickly as to avoid any clumps.
Serve the risotto very hot.
When was the last time you had dinner in an Italian restaurant in Canada and you thought you were dining in Italy? That’s exactly how “Ospitalità Italiana Certified”restaurants want you to feel when you visit their fine dining establishments.
Ospitalità Italiana is an official certification from Unioncamere, Italy’s federation of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, that tells you that the food you are enjoying is unquestionably Italian: products are authentic, ingredients genuine and recipes true to the thousand year history of Italian cuisine.
Canada is home to some leading Italian Chefs. Passionate and innovative, many have refined their skills and advanced their knowledge directly in Italy. In addition, Montréal boasts a fabulous cooking school ITHQ where young aspiring chefs learn Italian technic and Italian traditional recipes from the masters.
So the next time you make reservations for an Italian dinner in a Montreal restaurant, ask if they’ve received the Ospitalità Italiana seal of approval. You will enjoy the true Italian taste.