Pea and asparagus risotto

Mark Sargeant cooks his risotto rice in advance to make a quick risotto, laced with parmesan, white wine and mascarpone ideal for a vegetarian main
By Mark Sargeant
Pea and asparagus risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 300 g carnaroli risotto rice
  • 150 g spears of asparagus, spears trimmed at an angle
  • 200 g shelled small peas, (about 800g in their pods)
  • 150 g shelled broad beans, (about 600g in their pods)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 150 g freshly grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 20 g fresh chives, finely snipped


1. Tip the rice into a pan of boiling, lightly salted water and cook gently for 8 minutes then drain in a sieve. There should still be a white core in the centre of the grains.

2. Spread the part-cooked rice on a clean tray and allow to cool. Keep chilled until you are ready to finish the risotto. If covered with cling film and kept in the fridge, the rice can be kept for up to 24 hours.

3. Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large pan, then add 1 tsp of sea salt followed by the asparagus, shelled peas and beans. Return to a gentle boil and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, put lots of ice cubes into a large bowl half filled with cold water.

5. When cooked, drain the green vegetables in a colander set over a bowl to save the cooking water, then tip the veg straight into the bowl of iced water. When the vegetables are cold, drain again and set aside.

6. Put the reserved vegetable cooking water into a saucepan and bring to the boil this is now your stock for the risotto.

7. In another large pan, gently sauté the shallot and garlic in the 2 tablespoons of oil and half the butter for 3-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the wine and cook until reduced by half. Tip in the rice and stir well to combine with the liquid.

8. Now add a ladle of boiling stock, some salt and stir until the water is absorbed. Add the remaining stock, a ladle at a time, stirring until absorbed before you add more. This takes about 6-8 minutes, by which time the mixture should be slightly sloppy, not dry. You may not need all the stock. The rice is cooked when it is just softened and has a shiny glaze.

9. Gently stir the vegetables and chopped spring onions into the rice and return to a gentle simmer, adding a little extra stock if needed.

10. Stir in the grated parmesan, the mascarpone and the last of the butter, off the heat. Check the seasoning and allow the risotto to rest for a minute or two.

11. Just before serving drizzle over a little olive oil and scatter some more parmesan shavings and a sprinkling of fresh chives.

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