The Veneto region of Italy is mostly known for its seafood, but it is home to some other great recipes as well that you don't want to miss. Many of these involve rice, which is often used more frequently than pasta in the northern regions of Italy. One of the quintessential recipes from Veneto is Risi e Bisi, or Rice and Peas. The recipe is a simple variation of a basic risotto. Its simplicity is part of what has made Risi e Bisi a staple for many Italian parents and a first meal for many Italian kids. Since my son just started eating solid foods I will have to keep this meal in mind for when he's a ready for it!
Risi e Bisi
Adapted from Rachael Ray
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a yellow onion, diced
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup peas
- In a pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the risotto and allow to toast lightly. Once toasted, begin to add the broth 1 cup at a time. Stir frequently to avoid the rice sticking to the pot. Continue until the rice is cooked to al dente.
- Add the peas and allow them to warm through. Serve the risotto immediately.
Ideas for modifications:This recipe is sometimes served almost as a soup. To take this route, simply add more stock than what is required above. For some added flavor, pancetta can also be added. To save a little time, you can use frozen peas and add them directly to the risotto. They will thaw in the rice in no time!
Ryan's rating of Risi e Bisi - 4. Not bad since peas are far from his favorite vegetable!
1 - Awful. If you make this again I'll shove a fork in my eye.
2 - Meh. It's not my favorite, but I won't threaten self-harm if it shows up again.
3 - Good. I wouldn't feel forced to order a pizza behind your back.
4 - Great! I will fight you for the leftovers.
5 - Love it! Make it again tomorrow. Or immediately and I will bathe in it.