Risi e bisi, or rice and peas, is a wonderful Italian side dish rich in flavour.
Risi e Bisi (translation: rice and peas) is a dish that comes to us from Venice, Italy. Once a side dish served during the feast of Saint Mark, it has become a widely loved side dish enjoyed any day of the week, all year round.
My version includes pancetta, but it can be made vegan by omitting the meat, Use a mix of olive oil and plant-based butter (1 tablespoon combined) instead to replace the fat from the pancetta. As a rice dish, risi e bisi is also gluten-free.
If once the risotto is cooked you find there is still liquid remaining, don't worry. Traditionally, risotto is served with liquid remaining (referred to as all'onda). As the dish stands the rice will continue to absorb the liquid while some will evaporate. Just remember, risotto needs to be attended to quite a lot. It can easily stick to the pan, so don't for get to check on it regularly.
(Makes 6 servings)
1 cup pancetta, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 cups long-grain white rice
2 1⁄2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 1⁄2 cups sweet green peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the pancetta and sauté until crispy and the fats have rendered out. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta to a paper towel-lined dish and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and to the sauté pan, add the garlic and salt. Mix quickly, then stir in the rice, combining well. Continue mixing to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan. Cook until the rice turns opaque then slowly stir in the stock a little at a time. Raise the temperature back to medium-high and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice absorbs the stock (about 15 to 20 minutes).
Add the peas to the top of the rice, recover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to heat the peas thoroughly. Uncover and add the parsley and pancetta, fluffing to combine. Sprinkle with the ground black pepper and serve immediately.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 174 | total fat = 8.55g | saturated fat = 2.92g | cholesterol = 10mg | sodium = 385.5mg | net carbohydrates = 16.33g | dietary fibre = 2.17g | sugars = 1.59g | protein = 5.87g