Meals for Under £10: Herb risotto, asparagus & parmesan

This delicious recipe is easy to make (Miles Willis)

THIS is a really easy risotto. “It’s designed to be quick and simple, but would possibly get me lynched in Italy!” says Steve Groves, its creator.

We think even in Italy, they’d love it. Thanks to Steve, head chef at London’s Roux at Parliament Square for this week’s recipe.

You’ll need

250g carnaroli risotto rice

Chicken/vegetable stock concentrate

400ml fresh white chicken stock

1tbsp mascarpone

1tbsp finely grated Parmesan

2 tbsp mixed chopped herbs

Zest of ½ and juice of a ¼ lemon

20 asparagus spears

60g unsalted butter

Chicken stock

50g finely grated parmesan

15g plain flour


Season a large pan of boiling water with stock concentrate. Add rice and return to the boil. Cook for 5 mins, making sure it doesn’t catch – don’t stir too much. Drain.

Bring 400ml stock to boil and add rice. Continue to boil, stirring regularly until the stock has reduced by about ¾. Add mascarpone and boil until you have a creamy consistency. Finish with Parmesan, herbs and lemon.

Break asparagus spears by holding gently at each end and bending until it breaks at its tender point. Take the tougher ends and juice or blend with a little water. Strain and keep the juice.

Slice asparagus into rounds all the way up to leave a 2cm tip, then slice the tip in half. Heat a pan then add butter followed by asparagus, season and cook until asparagus just about starts to roast. Add asparagus stock and just enough chicken stock to cover asparagus. Bring to boil and cook until most of liquid has reduced and what is left forms an emulsion.

Mix flour and Parmesan together and sprinkle a thin layer on to a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for around 5 mins or until golden brown.

Serve risotto in a mound in the centre of a bowl and cover completely with asparagus. Finish with baked Parmesan.