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Italian Family Dining
by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi
Serves 8

• 5 cups warm chicken stock
• 1 cup fresh peas (about 1 pound in the shell)
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
• 2 cups Arborio rice
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 2 tablespoons wild garlic or onion grass, finely chopped (optional)
• 12 medium  asparagus spears, cut into 1- or 2-inch lengths
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Bring 2 cups of the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the peas and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, until tender. Remove 1/4, cup of the peas with a slotted spoon and set aside. Working in batches, place the remaining 3/4 cup of peas with the stock in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add  the onion, garlic, parsley, and mint. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. Add the wine and wild garlic (if using), and cook until the wine is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Warm  the remaining 3 cups of stock in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the pea puree and 1i cup of the warm stock to the rice and stir well. The rice will absorb the stock in about 5 minutes. Add another cup of stock, and so on, stirring frequently, until you have used all the stock and have cooked the rice for a total of about 30 minutes, until it is tender. After the first 10 minutes, add the asparagus. After the risotto has cooked for 25 minutes and is almost done, add the whole peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with the grated cheese.


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