Valentina’s blog, F40D, features Italian classics as well as international fusion dishes.
Photo: Valentina Quaranta
My Taste of Home: Italian expat Valentina shares her risotto recipe
In “My taste of home”, Luxembourg expats contribute recipes from their home countries, but with a twist: they are challenged to use a local, seasonal ingredient.
The farmers’ markets in Luxembourg and the greater region are full of white and green asparagus this time of year, and for Italian expat Valentina Quaranta, there’s no better time to try out a new risotto.
Originally from Acireale, Sicily, Valentina studied graphic design but has a passion for international cuisine. Her blog, F4OD (a play on her last name, which means “40” in Italian), features not just traditional Italian recipes, but also recipes with a spin on Luxembourg classics. Passionate about exotic cuisine, she also puts her own signature on a number of international dishes, particularly Asian cuisine, and she also includes a number of vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options.
Her work in the local food movement is paying off: she’s one of several food blogs nominated for the Kachen 2017 blog award, the winner of which will be announced 30 September 2017.
Here is Valentina’s recipe for the perfect risotto with asparagus, but be warned: although the recipe serves two, she says, “It’s delicious. I finished the whole pan alone!”
Valentina’s recipe is for two, but she warns it’s easy to finish off one pan alone. Photo: Valentina Quaranta
Risotto with asparagus
500 g asparagus
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1.5 l vegetable broth
120 g Carnaroli rice
4 tbsp soy cream
Extra virgin oil, salt and black pepper and salt to taste
Peel the outer part of the asparagus, removing the tougher parts, then cook them in salted water, spears facing up, until they are tender.
Pour 3 tbsp oil into a pan and sweat the shallots on low heat.
Once the asparagus is cooked, cut the spears off and set them aside for the garnish.
Cut the stems into pieces and put them into the pan with the shallot, stirring gently to get the flavours mixed, for another 5 minutes.
Pour the rice into the pan and let it toast for 5 minutes.
Pour the vegetable broth, one ladle at a time, into the rice, allowing the rice to cook slowly until it is cooked.
Once the rice is tender, add the soy cream and some pepper.
Turn off the burner, and allow the risotto to rest for 10 minutes with the pan covered.
To serve, add the asparagus spears and freshly ground pepper, salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the top of the risotto.