Step 1Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a small saucepan.
Step 2Heat the butter and oil in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan, and then add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes.
Step 3Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and let come to a boil.
Step 4Add 1/2 cup of broth to the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has almost completely absorbed the liquid. Adjust the heat so the risotto is kept at a slow simmer.
Step 5 Repeat, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time. At about 18 minutes, the rice will be plump and cooked through with a nice texture of individual grains.
Step 6Add the asparagus and any remaining broth, plus the cream and Parmesan. Stir gently for 1 minute, allowing some of the liquid to be absorbed and the asparagus to heat through. Add pepper to taste. Spoon the risotto into warm flat bowls and serve immediately.