CLASSIC pasta risotto with fresh green beans









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 When spring and early summer arrive, and the Farmers' Markets are filled with wonderful things, we especially love the first time fresh green beans arrive in view. Here is a risotto that is all about fresh green beans.

This pasta, at one cup of rice, provides two dinner portions with a little left over. It also serves four as a starter. For four dinner portions, half again the recipe.

And the consensus of our fans who have made this pasta is that it gets a definite "yum yum"!


  • one cup of Arborio rice
  • one-half pound fresh green beans
  • three tablespoons butter
  • three tablespoons olive oil
  • one heaping cup finely chopped onion
  • one-half cup dry white wine
  • four to five cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • one half teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper
  • one-third cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • two tablespoons basil, chopped

Prepare the beans. Cut off the ends and then cut them in one-half inch pieces. In a pan of boiling water, parboil the beans for a few minutes, until just tender. Drain.

to cook: (a more detailed and elaborate description of the risotto cooking technique can be found at how to cook risotto).

Bring the stock to a slow simmer in a pan next to the risotto pan. In a thick-bottomed pan (the risotto pan), over medium-high heat: add two tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until somewhat soft.

Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated with the butter . Add the wine. Cook and stir until it is absorbed by the rice, about two minutes. Add the half teaspoon of salt. Now add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, about a half-cup at a time, only adding another ladle when the previous ladle of liquid has been absorbed, stirring all of the time.

At about the fifteen minute mark, stir in the green beans. Continue adding stock and stirring, about twenty minutes, but testing regularly.

Determine proper doneness by tasting. When the rice is al dente, with a little creaminess, it is ready. Take off the heat. Stir in the parmesan and the basil and a tablespoon of butter. Taste for salt. Plus a couple of good grindings of the pepper mill. Remove from the stove set aside for two minutes.

Serve, maybe with a fresh basil leaf or two as decoration.



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