Risotto with Prosciutto and Asparagus

Ingredients:
5 cups chicken stock 1/8 tsp. saffron threads
3 tbps. olive oil
1/3 cup. finely diced onion
3 tbls. diced Fabbris prosciutto
Finely sliced Fabbris prosciutto (for garnish)
1 1/2 cup. arborio rice
1/3 cup. dry Marsala or white wine
1/2 cup. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. (or to taste) freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste (optional)
2 tbs. unsalted butter

Directions:
Cook the asparagus tips in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tips to a colander and rinse in cold water; drain well.

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and maintain simmer over low heat.
In a large saucepan heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the prosciutto and onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes until coated with oil. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it evaporates.

Add 1/2 cup of the stock and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Gradually add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is almost tender but still firm, for about 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the prosciutto, in a single layer, on a baking tray. Bake in oven for 8 minutes or until crisp. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Break into large pieces.

Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and adding stock as necessary, 1/4 cup. at a time, until the rice is tender but still a little firm with a creamy sauce, about 6 minutes longer.
At the last minute stir in asparagus and butter and serve hot with crispy prosciutto slices on top.

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