Asparagus and Pea Risotto, £1.06 a portion, or frugalised to 75p

Mar 13, 2014 | 0 comments


Did a lovely risotto yesterday using some asparagus Mike brought home. Used up the last of the Arborio rice, so next time I do one, I’ll try the value rice and form an opinion on using it. Also this time, I used 2 tblsps of lemon juice from a bottle rather than a wineglass of white wine, which is what I usually put in. I had read somewhere that you can use lemon juice to acidify in the same way as the wine. It worked fine.

arborio riceI sauted an onion in some butter, added about 250g of Arborio and stirred it about a bit, then added a stock cube and hot water bit by bit from the kettle, waiting until each glug had been absorbed by the rice before adding the next. I gave it all a good stir each time I added more water as the stirring helps the rice to release the starch that gives risotto its lovely texture.

asparagusWhile the rice was cooking, I prepped the asparagus by snapping off the tough part. If you haven’t done this, grasp each stem at the stem end and bend it until it snaps off a bit. That is the tough, woody, part of the stem. You can use these to make stock if you like. Then I sliced the remaining stems on the diagonal and microwaved them with a tsp of water, in a covered bowl, for 3 minutes. Then added the tender spears from the top of the stems and microwaved them a further minute.


When the rice was nearly cooked, I added a couple of handfuls of frozen peas, and when they were done, stirred in about 15g grated parmesan and the cooked asparagus.

Then served it into bowls and grated over another 10g parmesan. Delish.

Serves 2, £1.06 a portion
bunch of asparagus, Asda £1/150g
15g butter, value 98p/250g, 6p
250g arborio rice Asda £1.10/500g, 55p
2 tbslps lemon juice Asda 250ml/60p 7p
25g grana padano Asda £2.50/200g 31p
100g peas, 98p/kilo 10p
stock cube, value ones, about 2p

Asparagus also at Tesco £1/200g and Aldi 89p/150g. The lemon juice I used was from Approved Foods, 20p a bottle

This cost rather more than I usually do here
If you used value rice at 40p/kilo, the rice would cost 10p rather than 55p
Approved Foods lemon juice at 20p a bottle would be 2p
Aldi asparagus, the cheapest I could find on mySupermarket would trim a few pence off, and of course, you may be able to find some in a market for less than that.
You could substitute oil for the butter, trimming another few pence off
Make these changes, and the cost per portion would drop to 75p. Still more than our usual 50p, but doable with a cheap breakfast and lunch, so worth posting I think



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