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Risi e bisi

Risi e bisi is a traditional recipe from Venice that is served to the Doge on April 25th: Saint Marcus day. It celebrates spring, and the arrival of the first peas from the island of Sant’Erasmo.

Whether this is a soup or a risotto has been a point of discussion for a long time. Those who favour risotto, prepare a classic risotto with peas, and add some more liquid than usual, resulting in a risotto which is called all’onda. Those who claim this to be a soup, use all the ingredients to make … a soup.

The final result should not differ very much, as the dish is usually eaten with a spoon. The pods of the peas are sometimes used to flavour the stock, or even cooked and then pureed and mixed into the dish. Blanching the pods for 20 minutes or so in the stock is a good idea to give some extra “pea flavour”. The use of pancetta is optional.

Ingredients

  • 900 gram fresh peas (unpodded weight) podded or 225 gram frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 liter chicken stock
  • 50 gram butter
  • 50 gram pancetta stesa, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 225 gram Vialone Nano rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 40 gram Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • pepper and salt
Heat half the butter and fry the onion and the pancetta for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and the rice and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the podded peas, some pepper and salt and continue to simmer till the peas are done. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the remaining butter and the parsley.
Serve immediately.

Posted in recipes, soup.

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