I’m constantly searching for new ways to make a “risotto” dish. I’ve of course used arborio and tried different grains like barley and quinoa but when I saw these delightfully tiny peperiti staring up at me at the grocers, I knew it was next. That and it’s Presto Pasta Friday, how could I resist?
Besides the fact that my kids typically turn up their noses at most things I make, other than macaroni and cheese or pancakes, I figured this actually being pasta, I would use this as an opportunity to feed them shallots and, of course, asparagus.
Like my other attempts, I made this with my “standard” risotto recipe. I knew it would be quick. I really thought the creaminess from the starch would be higher, but the pasta had a great texture, stayed very light and absorbed so much flavour from the stock it’s instantly become a favourite around here.
What a super pasta, give it a try. Use different stocks and vegetable combinations and let me know.
PEPERINI RISOTTO WITH ASPARAGUS AND SHITAKE MUSHROOMS
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Shallot, minced
2 Tablespoons White Wine
3/4 Cup Peperini
2 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 Bay Leaf
6 – 8 Stalks Asparagus, or equal to 1/2 Cup chopped
4 – 6 Shitake Mushrooms, or equal to 1/2 Cup chopped
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan, optional for vegetarians
In a saucepan, heat the stock with the bay leaf.
Mince 2 of the cloves of garlic and the shallot.
In another, large saucepan, heat the oil to a medium high heat. Sweat the garlic and shallot until translucent.
Add the wine and allow it to cook down for about a minute.
Add the peperini; stir well.
Ladle over about 1/3 of the stock and continue to stir often enough to keep it from sticking.
Once the pasta has absorbed the stock by half, add another ladleful and continue to stir.
Rinse and chop the asparagus into 1″ pieces.
Add the last of the stock, stir, add the asparagus and cover.
Wipe, trim and slice the mushrooms.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan.
Mince and add the remaining clove of garlic and mushrooms.
Sauté until golden and remove from heat.
Stir the peperiti add the lemon zest and cheese, if using.
Serve and top with mushrooms.