This creamy, comforting risotto incorporates two favorites of spring - asparagus and ramps - but can be adapted to use whatever vegetables are in season.
2 ½ cups carnaroli rice
5 cups veggie stock or water
1/2 cup onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup white wine
salt, pepper, Aleppo pepper, finely chopped herbs, spice rub or preserved lemon paste
1/2 to 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
Cook the onion in the oil and butter gently to soften and sweeten the onion without browning; when the onion is translucent and sweet, add the rice, stirring to coat the grains with the fats. Toast the rice until the grains separate, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the wine and bring to a hard boil to boil off the alcohol, then reduce the heat and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the stock and stir and lower heat so it gently simmers, and stir from time to time until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock slowly; with each addition, the rice will exude a cream or crema which will not be reabsorbed. As the rice approaches al dente, add the liquid in smaller amounts. When the rice just loses its crunch and is still short of al dente, lay it out in a single layer on a sheet pan and let cool.
Heat some butter and olive oil in a pan and toss in the shallots and stir until translucent and they begin to lose bite. Add garlic and season the pan with Aleppo, salt, pepper, and other seasonings. Cook until garlic is fragrant, add blanched asparagus and grilled ramps, and stir fry for a minute or two.
Add rice back to pan and add 1 cup of stock. Continue to stir and cook until there is a thick crema and the rice is cooked to your liking. There should be a good amount of crema, but the rice should not be soupy. Add 1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano and stir. The rice should be creamy and the liquid/crema thick. Check for seasonings. Turn off heat, and let sit for a minute or two to equilibrate. Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of parsley.
Note: you can use pretty much any vegetable instead of asparagus and ramps, but do keep it simple and use one or two veggies for a risotto.