While bringing the broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan, rinse and pop off woody bottoms of asparagus. Line asparagus up on a cutting board and cut into fairly equal 1″ pieces. When the broth is boiling, add asparagus and cook for 4 minutes. Remove asparagus from the broth. Keep the asparagus warm while preparing the rest of the dish and turn the heat on the broth down to simmer.
In a dutch oven, heat olive oil on high heat, then add onion and reduce to medium heat. Cook onion until it becomes translucent, about 6 minutes. Add arborio rice and stir constantly for 2 minutes .
Using 1 cup of broth, pour over arborio rice and stir until there is no standing liquid. Add ½ cup broth to rice and continue stirring while the rice absorbs the liquid. Repeat adding broth by ½ cup and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid without getting dry while constantly stirring to keep the rice from sticking. Continue until you have used all of the broth.
Add the shrimp to the pot and stir as it turns from grey to pink. Once all of the shrimp has reached this just-cooked color, stir in the asparagus. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper.
Serve in bowls with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Makes 6 servings.