1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 stalks asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups chicken broth (homemade stock or low-sodium store-bought)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp saffron threads
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a small nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tsp olive oil. Sauté the shrimp and asparagus for 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp just curls and turns pink. Remove from the pan to a bowl, and set aside while you make the rice.
Bring broth to a boil on the stovetop or in a microwave, and set aside. Place 1/2 cup water and the saffron threads into a small glass measuring cup; heat in the microwave for 1 minute, then set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a large, deep skillet or 4-quart straight-sided pan. Add the onion, and sauté until soft but not brown, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the rice, making sure to coat each grain, and stir until the rice just begins to turn light brown.
Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the wine. It will bubble up, so be careful. Return the pan to the heat. When the liquid is absorbed, begin adding broth, 1 ladleful at a time, letting each bit of liquid be absorbed. After 1 cup is added, stir the saffron water into the rice. Continue adding broth, reserving a few tablespoons at the end. Remove from heat. Add butter and cheese, and stir vigorously for 2 minutes. Add in any remaining broth, and stir to desired creaminess.
Stir in the shrimp and asparagus. Season to taste with black pepper, and serve immediately.