2 Banana Shallots - finely chopped
1 Large clove of garlic - chopped
10 Slim Asparagus spears + 2 for garnish
75gm Diced pancetta
500ml Chicken Stock - hot
250ml White wine
200gm Risotto rice
½ Tablsp Chopped fresh thyme
½ Tablsp Chopped flat leaf parsley
80gm Parmesan cheese - grated finely
1 Tablsp Oil
50gm Slightly salted butter
Trim the asparagus and toss into boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove and run under cold water.
Chop 8 of the spears into ½ inch pieces and keep 2 whole for garnish.
Heat the oil in a large fry pan and gently fry the pancetta cubes, take out and set aside.
Add 25gms of butter to the pan and sauté the chopped shallot and garlic.
Add the rice and stir until all the rice is coated with the oil/butter.
Add the wine and simmer gently until absorbed by the rice.
Add the hot stock a ladle at a time stirring well to allow the liquid to be completely absorbed
When all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked add the remaining 25gms of butter, the fresh herbs, parmesan cheese and cut asparagus. Stir gently to incorporate all the ingredients.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a garnish of the two remaining asparagus spears (and parmesan crisps as optional)
PARMESAN CRISPS - optional
Set oven at 175°C
Cover the back of a baking tray with baking parchment
Take 150gm of grated parmesan Cheese and using a 2" circular pastry-cutter, place the cutter on top of the greaseproof paper and put a heaped teaspoon of cheese inside the cutter spreading it right into the edges - do NOT press the cheese down it will melt as it bakes.
Repeat the process until the greaseproof paper is covered in cheese rounds. These don’t spread so you need only leave small spaces in between.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Watch them carefully they will over cook quite easily.
Transfer them to a wire rack to cool and crisp up. Store in an air-tight container.