Risi e bisi

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Risi e bisi is a traditional Venetian dish, typically made in the springtime when fresh peas are just coming into season. In this region of Italy, risotto is often served all’onda, which literally means “on the waves,” and refers to a more liquid, soupy consistency. If you can get your hands on fresh peas, this dish will be extra special — otherwise, frozen petits pois are your best bet.


Serves 4


40g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
100g pancetta
1.5L chicken stock
250g Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
80ml white wine
600g frozen petits pois, thawed
50g Parmesan, grated
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Melt half of the butter with the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook for five minutes until softened. Add the pancetta and cook for another 4-5 minutes until it begins to release its fat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the stock in a separate pot and keep at a simmer.
  4. Stir the rice into the onion mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes until the grains begin to look translucent. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the white wine. Stir until the wine has been absorbed, then add a ladleful of the hot stock.
  5. Keep stirring until most of the stock has been absorbed, then add another ladleful. Repeat until the rice is tender and the dish has a thick, soupy consistency with more liquid than a regular risotto; you may not need all the stock. Stir in the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes to heat through.
  6. Stir in the Parmesan and the remaining butter. Cover with a lid and leave to sit for five minutes.
  7. Season with black pepper (and salt, to taste, if needed), then divide amongst shallow bowls and top with the fresh parsley to serve.

Per serving 659kcals, 30.5g fat (11.8g saturated), 65.5g carbs (8.2g sugars), 27g protein, 11.2g fibre, 1.969g sodium


MAKE IT YOURS You can easily make this vegetarian-friendly by omitting the pancetta, using vegetable stock and making sure the cheese you use is made with vegetarian rennet.