Risi e bisi – Veneto Recipe
(rice with garden peas)

  • 200 to 250 g of risotto rice
  • 250 to 300 g fresh garden peas, shucked
  • 1 white onion
  • 80 g bacon (or pancetta or dry ham)
  • 50 g + 1 knob of butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • Several branches of flat parsley*
  • Parmesan cheese
Cut the bacon (or pancetta or dry ham) into thin strips or cubes.
Peel the onion and cut into thin slices. Heat 3 to 4 teaspoons of oil in a casserole and cook the onion until translucent, along with the bacon.
Wash the shucked peas and add to the onions and bacon. Add salt and pepper.
Cook for about ten minutes, then add warm broth and slowly bring to a boil.
Add the rice, stirring it occasionally, until cooked but still firm. The rice should be all’ onda (with waves), i.e., somewhat firm, yet tender and creamy.
Let cool a few minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and if you like, grated Parmesan cheese, before serving.

P.S.: To prepare this dish according to the true Veneto tradition, make your own vegetable broth by boiling the pea husks for just under an hour in water with a pinch of salt.

* Flat parsley is a staple in dishes from the Veneto region, either as part of a herb bouquet, sprinkled in thin strips over dishes and sauces or in a duo with onion. Its cousin, chervil, is also regularly used.

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