For many Risotto has a reputation of complexity that may discourage them from making it.
I encourage you to take some time to make this easy and satisfying Risotto recipe. I chose Risotto with sweet peas because I felt it was a great Risotto dish to start with. There are a few versions of Risi e Bisi out there, some with pancetta and others with the peas pureed.
I have to omit, growing up the closest we had to a Risotto was a dish my Mom made for us which we called "Rice and Gravy" which we just LOVED! Simply rice with her Sunday gravy mixed in and poured over topped with Parmesan cheese! Yum....
Back to the recipe...
Here is one version of Risi e Bisi that I created very quickly, simple and great!
I plan on making others as well in future posts, but in the meantime here it is Risi e Bisi!
Risotto with Sweet Peas - Risi e bisi (print recipe)
A word on rice
There are many Italian rices that you may use. Arborio, Vialone Nano, Carnaroli and Originario. It must be a short grain rice!
For this recipe I used Arborio. Why not try them all and post back with your comments on what is your favorite!
What, there's no cream in Risotto? Yes.....no cream! It's all in the way you prepare the rice in the absorption of liquid and stirring of the grains which release the starch and create a creamy texture. The 20 Minutes of time stirring is well worth it!
As in all Risotto you must use heated stock. I used chicken stock but you may also use a vegetable stock as well.
1 cup rice Arborio, Vialone Nano, Carnaroli or Originario
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferable imported Italian)
2 tablespoons Unsalted Sweet Butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
2 large leafs fresh Basil chopped
4-6 cups heated Stock
1 cup fresh in season shelled Sweet Peas or frozen Petite Peas
1/2 tablespoon Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to drizzle on top
1/3 cup grated Grana Padano Parmesan Cheese, plus some more to top your Risotto
In a deep, sauce pan add your olive oil and butter, bring to temperature over a high heat.
When the butter stops foaming add your onion and garlic, cook it till soft.
Continue to cook over high heat stirring continuously until all the stock is absorbed.
Add your sweet peas and another cup of heated stock and continue to cook, stir and reduce.
Repeat with the third cup of stock, continue with the process.
You must stir and watch the rice.
Continue to add stock until your rice is al dente, not crunchy. Do not reduce your Risotto until it is dry.
Right before you're ready to serve, add your basil and Parmesan cheese and stir it into the Risotto.
Plate your Risotto and then drizzle your extra virgin olive oil on top and finish it with a bit more Parmesan. Garnish with basil.
When you make this the first time you may feel unsure if you have added enough liquid. Just remember, you add the liquid in small increments and keep on cooking until it is to a texture you enjoy.
The finished risotto should be creamy with each grain of rice shining like small pearls of goodness!
Let me know how it comes out or if you have a different version you prefer!