This week I’m making 2 dinners from the Northern Region of Italy. Since the regional cooking is so different, I wanted to give Italy 3 or 4 weeks so I can showcase each part separately.
I decided to make one risotto dish and one polenta dish this week. Tonight’s risotto recipe is a very common, traditional dish, Risi e Bisi, or Rice and Peas. This is actually one of my favorite dishes! I found a version in a Mario Batali cookbook that looked outstanding because it added prosciutto. I ate mine with a salad, and I made some roasted garlic chicken sausage for my husband.
Risi e Bisi
(Venetian Style Rice and Peas)
1/4 c. EVOO
4 shallots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped (omitted)
2 oz. prosciutto in 1/8" dice (I used ribbons)
1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
8 c. Chicken stock
2 lbs. Peas
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
In a 10" skillet, saute olive oil, shallots, celery, and prosciutto. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 8 minutes.
Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes. Add stock to cover rice, turn heat to high. Stir until stock is absorbed. Continue to add stock a bit at a time.
Taste the rice and season.
Add peas and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter and parmesan, stir for 20 seconds, serve in warmed plates.
Molto Italiano, Mario Batali. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2005.