Spring Risotto with Asparagus, Peas & Leeks

4 from 1 vote

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Did you know there are many different types of risotto? Spring Risotto is a green risotto that comes from the Italian kitchen of our good friend Paola. (Say, POW-la!) If you’re a fan of springtime, you’re going to love this pea and asparagus risotto recipe.

A close up of risotto with tray of  ramkins in background on sheet tray
This spring risotto is a green risotto and just one of many different types of risotto.

Spring Green Risotto

Our good friend who comes from Italy is the author of many Italian recipes here on Platter Talk. Every year her church features dishes like this asparagus risotto recipe for their annual fund-raiser.

It’s no wonder that people come from near and far to get some of this real Italian food.  This Spring Risotto (risotto verde or green risotto), is just one of many types of risotto and is a fresh twist on a classic Italian side dish.

Risotto with someone delivering grated cheese to to of dish
This pea and asparagus risotto recipe is sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Chopped leeks, thinly sliced sections of asparagus, garden fresh peas all combine to give a fresh, spring color and flavor to this Spring Risotto. The flavors of this green risotto are a celebration of a new spring and the season of green.

Serving dish Risotto and wooden utensil with red ramkins in background

This Asparagus Risotto Recipe is a Green Risotto!

Aside from the verde components of this pea and asparagus risotto recipe, all the standards of basic risotto make up the supporting cast.

  • Arborio rice

  • White Wine

  • Parmesan cheese

How much more Italian can things get?! Don’t be surprised if you start talking with an Italian accent after trying this spring risotto.

A close up of a plate risotto with peas and other diced vegetables
There’s Arborio rice, white wine, green peas, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese, which holds it all together in this asparagus risotto recipe.

While putting this Spring Risotto feature together, it struck me how this green risotto is somewhat reflective of our friend Paola.   A beautiful person on the outside and within, humble, steadfast, and like the Parmesan in this dish – Italian do the core.    Just like this  Parmesan, Paola has a unique gift for bringing people together and keeping them together.

Risotto plated with peas and diced vegetable with cut lemon background

Paola no longer pastors at this church, as she is now the leader of another church a couple of hours away. I wonder if her new congregation realizes that with a new pastor they are also getting a gifted Italian chef? I have a feeling they are eating at Paola’s table on a regular basis. That is how our friend rolls.

Dish holding a red ramkin, risotto and other food


If you prefer red to green, you’re going to love our simple tomato risotto!

And finally, here’s a great read from Food & Wine: 7 Mistakes We’ve all Made when Cooking Risotto.

Spring Risotto with Asparagus, Peas, & Leeks

4 from 1 vote
Recipe from Paola Benecchi, who calls this Italian side dish risotto verde, or green risotto.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Yield: 8 servings


  • 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts
  • 1 pound thin asparagus cut 1-inch lengths and discard the tough ends
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken, or vegetable stock or preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest, 2 lemons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for garnish


  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the leeks and saute for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.
  • Now, add the asparagus and saute them with the leeks.
  • Next, add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter.
  • Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
  • When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the lemon zest, 1 tablespoon salt.
  • Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
  • When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and chives.
  • Serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.


Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 176mg, Potassium: 131mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0g, Vitamin A: 220IU, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

This spring risotto recipe was originally published on October 22, 2014.

Bowl of risotto with someone\'s hand above and red ramkins beneath
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Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. I love risotto, but it is dish that intimidates me. Not sure why. So I order in restaurants. I read this recipe and I tell myself—-Carol, take that dive off the high board. So we will seeeeeeeeeee

  2. 4 stars
    I haven’t made risotto in years and am intrigued to try your recipe. I love the addition of mascarpone cheese…so indulgent and delish!

  3. Hi Dan! Oh my this risotto looks so delish. I love the idea of light onion flavor of leeks. Luscious and beautiful as well. Nicely done. Pinned and stumbled. 🙂

  4. I can never resist risotto! Love the leeks in this. And asparagus? Yes, please. 😉 Good stuff — thanks.

  5. Boy you guys have all the fun! What a fabulous risotto recipe! Loaded with my favorite veggies and parmesan cheese. YUM!

  6. Risotto is my favorite dish! It amazes me how badly some restaurants can make it. This one sounds perfect. I really love the addition of mascarpone. That’s a new idea for me. Will certainly try!

  7. Risotto is a favorite of mine, it truly is and your dish looks stunning and appetizing Dan and Scott. Another great recipe and post!