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Spring time risotto with fresh peas, broad beans, courgettes and asparagus

This is spring on a plate, and one of my favourite risotto dishes in celebration of the first vegetables of the season. You can of course make it out of season using frozen produce, but somehow it will not give you that extra crunch and freshness. Risotto is mainly a northern Italian dish due to the rice growing regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto, however, it is now widely eaten all over Italy and makes a wonderful, quick meal.

Make it yourself 

4 x servings



  • 2 x courgettes
  • 100g asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 x small onion, very finely chopped
  • ½ stalk celery, very finely chopped
  • 350g arborio rice
  • 100g fresh peas, clean weight
  • ½ glass white wine
  • Salt (for pasta water)
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock, kept gently simmering in a pan
  • 25g butter
  • 25g parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  1. First prepare the courgettes. Wash well and trim the ends. With a small sharp knife, cut strips lengthways of the green part and chop very finely. Discard the white middle bit (you can keep for your vegetable stocks). Then prepare the asparagus. Discard the hard part of the asparagus, finely chop the rest keeping aside the tips.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and celery and sweat on a gentle heat. Add the rice and stir well coating each grain with the oil ensuring you don't burn the rice so keep on a gentle heat and keep stirring. You will notice the rice granules become shiny. At this stage, add the white wine, keep stirring until the wine evaporates. Then add the peas, broad beans, courgettes and asparagus (not the tips), mix well, always ensuring that the vegetables do not stick.
  3. Add a couple of ladlefuls of stock and keep stirring until the liquid evaporates. Then add more stock and continue to do so for about 20/25 minutes. About 5 minutes before the end of cooking time, add the asparagus tips. Remove from the heat, beat in the butter and parmesan. Leave to rest for a minute and serve immediately.