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Risi e Bisi (Rice with Peas)


  • 900g/2lb fresh peas in the pod

  • 1.5 litres/2½ pints good quality chicken stock

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 50g/2oz pancetta, diced

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 225g/8oz risotto rice, such as Carnaroli or Arborio

  • small handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped

  • 25g/1oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • salt

  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Shell the peas, reserving the pods. You should be left with about 175g/6oz of shelled peas.

  • 2.

    Put the stock into a pan with the pea pods, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

  • 3.

    Strain into a clean pan, pressing out all the liquid with the back of a wooden spoon and keep hot.

  • 4.

    Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan, add the pancetta and onion and fry gently until the onion is soft but not browned.

  • 5.

    Add the stock and the rice, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.

  • 6.

    Stir in the peas and cook for a further five minutes or until the peas are tender.

  • 7.

    Finally stir in the butter, parsley and parmesan an season to tast with salt and pepper.

  • 8.

    Ladle into warmed soup bowls and eat as you would soup, with a spoon rather than a fork.

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Posted by Report
where does it tell you how much butter to add?