Risi e Bisi is truly a spectacular dish.
This Italian rice dish is loaded with so much flavor. It’s similar to risotto, but quite as creamy. And the peas are so wonderful. And it’s easy to make!
HOW TO MAKE RISI E BISI AT HOME
Remember having this dish as a kid growing up? Really, you don’t? Well, to be honest, neither did we, with Wesley growing up in South Dakota and me in Texas. But our dear friend, Marilyn, who grew up in New York City, recently told me about this awesome dish that her family would have while she was a kid, called ‘Rise e Bisi.’
I said…well, sounds interesting, send it over, I’ll try it out, and if we love it, we’ll share it with the world!
Well, guess what…we loved it! The Loon couldn’t get enough. And it’s really easy to put together. You could say it’s Easy Risi e Bisi!
POPULAR IN THE VENTO REGION OF ITALY
I did a little research and learned that it is a traditional Italian dish which consists of Arborio rice and sweets peas.
It is very popular in Venice, Vicenza and Verona – Italy! Read more about it’s history here.
You start by toasting arborio rice in a large pot, preferably a Dutch oven. NOTE: Arborio is an Italian short-grain rice and can be found in the rice, or Italian, section of most well-stock supermarkets.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK IS A GOOD OPTION
Risi e Bisi is somewhere between a risotto and a soup.
As always, I must say that a good solid chicken stock makes this dish sing. But of course, now days, you can find good-quality purchase stock, so that’s perfectly fine, too. But homemade is so good!
Frozen peas work perfectly fine in this dish. Be sure to go with petite sweet peas.
EXPERT TIP: I found the pea tendrils at my local Asian market (I know…head to the Asian market for a traditional Italian dish…well, H2FaLoon always promotes crossing those cultural and national boundaries when on a quest to make the perfect dish). You can find a nice variety at Whole Foods, too.
Add the stock in stages, and simmer until the rice is soft, about 20 minutes in total.
The aromatics make the dish taste very fresh.
As it simmers on your stove, you will fall in love with the smell.
Folks, we are true believers in this dish. Once you try, it will most likely become a family of yours, as well.
Delicious and so fresh!
Risi e Bisi
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups hot chicken stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 oz pancetta diced
- 6 green onions scallions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 12 fresh sage leaves roughly chopped
- 8 oz shucked English peas about 2 cups
- 4 oz pea tendrils or something similar
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 oz grated Parmesan
- Melt butter in a heavy, wide saucepan (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium high heat.
- Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in rice and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a brisk simmer.
- Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, as liquid is absorbed.
- Add 2 more cups stock and cook for another 8 minutes, until the rice is cooked through, but firm.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add pancetta and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add scallions, stir to coat and cook 1 minute.
- Add garlic, sage leaves and peas.
- Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add 1/2 cup of the stock and simmer until the peas are just done, about 2 minutes.
- add pea tendrils and cook until just wilted, about 2 minute.
- Add pea mixture to rice mixture and gently stir together.
- Add enough stock to keep the rice a bit soup.
- Check seasoning.
- Stir in parsley, lemon zest and Parmesan. Serve at once.