Heat chicken or vegetable stock (I used both since I had some chicken left over from a previous recipe and bought additional veggie for this) and bring it to a very gentle simmer.
In the mean time. sauté fresh asparagus (chopped into bite-size-ish pieces but without their heads), garlic, onion, and sea salt in olive oil. Once the onion is soft, add the rice (I used arborio) and cook for a few minutes while the rice sizzles in the fat. Add a little white wine and keep stirring -- your nose will be happy.
Slowly begin to add the simmering stock to the rice pan, a few ladles at a time. Wait until the majority of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice until you add more, but don't allow the rice to get dry.
Eventually, add the reserved asparagus heads to the dish and continue ladling in the stock. Keep adding stock until the rice is cooked (I had some left in my pan that I didn't use.)
Remove the risotto from heat and add some parmigiano reggiano cheese and pepper as well as butter (!) to the mix, and stir until these have melted in. Cover the dish for about ten minutes and then serve with more cheese on top.
This was super yummy and we were both really happy with it. I'd definitely make it again -- it's cheesy and flavorful and would be a great side to pork or chicken. In fact, we'll probably have it again tomorrow night next to some form of meat. Yum.
asparagus -- $2.75
onion -- $.82
rice -- $6.99 (expensive, yes, but over half the bag is left)
veggie stock -- $3.49
wine -- $5.00 (super cheap, and we only needed a 1/2 cup for the dish)
Total Cost of Asparagus Risotto: $19.05 (with about 4 servings left)