Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto

5 cups vegetable stock
12 oz. asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 ½ cups arborio rice
1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined
2 T olive paste or tapenade
2 T chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes until just tender. Strain, reserving the stock and refresh the asparagus under cold running water. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir for 1-2 minutes until it is coated with the oil and slightly translucent.

Keep the stock on a low heat. Increase the heat under the frying pan to medium and begin adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring well between additions. Continue until almost all the stock has been absorbed. This should take 20-25 minutes.

Add the shrimp and asparagus with the last ladleful of stock and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the shrimp and rice are tender and the stock has been absorbed. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the olive paste, basil and seasoning and leave to stand for 1 minute. Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan shavings.