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Risi e Bisi-Rice and Peas

This traditional Italian comfort food dish of rice with peas is best made in the spring when fresh peas in the pod are at their sweetest. Not exactly a risotto and more of a soup, this will take you right to Venice with every bite!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: rice
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1 ounce pancetta coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cups peas
  • 1/2 cup risotto rice arborio or vialone nano rice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano additional for serving
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over low heat until softened, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the pancetta and 1/2 of the parsley and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock, peas and rice and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.
  • Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. If too much of the liquid has absorbed and it seems to be too dry, add additional stock.
  • Stir in the 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano, the butter and the rest of the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon out the rice and peas into shallow bowls and serve at once, adding additional Parmigano Reggiano as desired while serving.