Summer suddenly arrived and, with the good weather, so did wonderful opportunities to meet. Like the Gola Gola Festival in Piacenza from 9 June. I was given the honour of opening the dances with my gluten-free proposal designed to tempt everyone: Gola Gola asparagus risotto.
In a festival dedicated to food, I believe it is fundamental to give space to local products, so I thought of choosing some of the many ingredients of the that area: Pontenure asparagus (given the season), Malvasia dei colli piacentini wine and Grana Padano cheese. All this on a very special base, namely my favourite Carnaroli rice, the one cultivated by Riserva San Massimo within the Lombardy Ticino Valley Park, a gift for the palate and for those who care about preserving biodiversity.
A possible alternative to the cheese crisp is another famous product from Piacenza: its pancetta, also made crispy in a non-stick pan, or in the microwave oven, following the same procedure as described for the cheese.
So run to buy some asparagus not to miss the season and enjoy this delicacy!
Gola Gola asparagus risotto
23.55g carbohydrates per 100g
without the reduction of Malvasia wine
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 1.2 litres of previously prepared meat stock
- 600g Malvasia dei colli piacentini white wine
- 400g asparagus, already cleaned
- 320g Carnaroli rice Riserva San Massimo
- 100g Grana Padano cheese
- 30g spring onion
- 30g butter
- 20g sesame seeds
- 20g brown sugar
- 3 cardamom berries
- 1 star anise berry
- 1 cinnamon stick
- nutmeg, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Preparation of the Malvasia reduction
- First, prepare the Malvasia reduction because it is the most time-consuming operation. Pour almost all the wine into a thick-bottomed saucepan (keep about 60g for dousing the rice), add the spices and brown sugar and let it simmer without a lid for about 1.5 hours or until the wine has turned into a rather thick, amber-coloured liquid.
Preparation of Risotto
- Wash the asparagus and cut them into 3 parts: remove the woody part, keep the tips whole and cut the middle part of the asparagus into pieces. Put the asparagus chunks in a saucepan with about 200g of stock and cook them, leaving the pan uncovered. Once cooked, put the asparagus in a blender to obtain a cream, season with salt and set aside.
- Prepare the cheese and sesame crisps. Mix 30g of cheese and the sesame seeds, then place a spoonful of the mixture on a plate, forming a kind of disc with the back of the spoon. Place everything in the microwave for a short time on medium power until the cheese has melted slightly. With the help of a scraper, remove the disc from the plate and keep it aside.
- You can now start preparing the risotto.
- Sweat the finely chopped spring onion in a saucepan with a little oil.
- Toast the rice in the saucepan with the leek for about 3 minutes in order to have the grains well transparent with the white central part, then sprinkle with the Malvasia kept aside and let it evaporate.
- Start stirring the rice adding a ladle of boiling stock. Continue stirring and add more stock only when the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. After about 5 minutes, add the asparagus tips, then continue with the stock and stirring. A few minutes before the end of cooking, add the blended asparagus and mix well. When the rice is still well al dente, remove from the heat and add the frozen butter, stirring the rice well so that the starch is released to form a nice cream, add the grated cheese and continue stirring until it is completely incorporated; add salt to taste. Cover the risotto with a tea towel and let it rest for a minute.
- Plate the rice and complete with a few pieces of sesame crisp and drops of Malvasia reduction.
Version with gluten of Gola Gola asparagus risotto
The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.
If you like risottos, try my Celeriac risotto with apple and rose mayonnaise