Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms


This is the story about a turning point in my life as a (very) amateur chef. Believe it or not, before I learned how to make the following recipe, I relied on ramen, dorm cafeteria food, and 99 cent pizza for sustenance after I graduated high school and shipped off to college. Total noms indeed.

I was taught how to make this creamy, savory rice dish when I was studying abroad one summer in Perugia, Italy. I was guilty of spending most of my euros on pizza, gelato, and other Italian treats, and rarely took advantage of Perugia’s markets and local groceries. But really, could you blame me?

One of my apartment-mates was a girl from England, Lucy, who took pity on me and my lack of culinary skill and pried me away from an admittedly expensive reliance on restaurants and pizzerias. She had been a live-in chef at some rich people’s Swiss ski chalet (tough life), so one night, she decided to teach me how to make this, the most decadent yet surprisingly simple of rice dishes.

The rest, as they say, is history. A foodie was born.

Since then, this has been a staple in my dinner rotation- in fact, since the day I started this blog, my mother has begged me to put up my recipe for risotto. The great thing about this dish is that you can use whatever is in your pantry; any vegetables, herbs, or even meats work wonderfully. I had some beautiful asparagus and leftover mushrooms from the pizzette I made, so these featured front and center this time around.

A lot of people have the misconception that risotto is hard to make or requires tons of surveillance- and while making risotto does require some stirring, that’s about the extent of cook time labor. It makes a perfect side dish to roasted meats, but also stands on its own just fine as a quick and easy supper. Go nuts!… speaking of, pignoli nuts would go great here too… anyways, here goes!

asparagus risotto ingredients

Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-6 stalks asparagus, chopped into smaller bites
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

sliced asparagus


1. Over medium heat, heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan with deep sides. Add the onions and garlic and stir, for 2-3 minutes until softened and slightly brown.

toasting the rice

2. Add the rice and allow to toast in the garlic, onions and oil for another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Add the asparagus and saute until the green in the vegetable really pops, another minute or so.
added asparagus
3. Add the white wine, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Allow to simmer until almost absorbed. Continue by adding the chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, only adding when the previous broth has been mostly absorbed. Stir every so often to keep rice from sticking to the pan.

rosemary, mushrooms, thyme

4. When all three cups of chicken broth have been added,  stir in the mushrooms, rosemary and thyme until incorporated throughout. Drizzle the lemon juice and continue to stir. Finally, add the cheese and give a final few stirs until the rice becomes creamy.

add that cheese!

5. Serve and enjoy!

What are your favorite add-ins for risotto?

Happy Eating 🙂

7 thoughts on “Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms”

  1. I thank the internet gods once again! I asked the twittersphere and the facebook gods to provide me with a risotto recipe and all I had to do was click the most interesting link on cecinestpasunfoodblog and TADA! Providence! Anyways, thank you for this I will be trying this out tonight!


  2. I LOVED this story! Isn’t it so wonderful when we learn different dishes from other people?! That’s awesome you studied abroad in Italy. I was thinking about Italy but settled on Spain. I was jealous of my best friend who studied abroad in Florence and told me about her ridiculous 5 coarse Italian meals every night LOL.

    1. Thank you so much Joanne! Part of the reason I love your blog too- the stories behind the food are what makes it so delicious 🙂

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