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rice and peas

rice and peas

Is risi e bisi a risotto or a soup? Let's discover the recipe for a classic dish of Venetian cuisine with a thousand qualities: very easy to prepare, economical, and tasty!

Do you know risi e bisi? It is a typical dish of Venetian cuisine which is now prepared throughout the peninsula, especially in spring when the peas are fresh and give their best in terms of taste and nutritional properties. This traditional recipe is closely linked to the region from which it derives: Veneto. In fact, the perfect rice to make it is vialone nano: a semi-fine rice perfect for this preparation, with a final consistency that is halfway between a delicious soup and a creamy risotto.

Curious to prepare the bisi rice recipe at home? Then we go!

rice and peas
rice and peas

Preparation of rice and peas

  1. To follow the original recipe for rice and peas with fresh peas, start shelling all the peas and place them in a separate bowl. Do not throw away the pods, but wash them carefully under plenty of fresh water.
  2. In the meantime, boil the vegetable broth or prepare a light one by cooking the pods in boiling water for at least 50 minutes.
  3. Take about 100 g of peas and dip them into the boiling broth, let them cook for a few minutes until they have softened, and drain them. Then blend them in a blender with salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil, until you obtain a cream which you will keep aside.
  4. Peel the onion and cut it into small pieces, then brown it in a pan with olive oil.
  5. Take the diced bacon, the washed and chopped parsley leaves and add everything to the sauce.
  6. Add the rest of the peas and cook them for a few minutes so that they take on flavour.
  7. Add the rice and toast it for a few minutes before adding one or two ladles of hot broth until it is covered.
  8. Stir occasionally, adding a little broth every time the rice has absorbed the broth already present in the pan and cook it. Alternatively, a widely used variant is to immediately pour all the broth into the pan with the rice, so that more liquid remains at the end of cooking.
  9. When the rice is ready, add the pea cream, mix well and turn off the heat.
  10. Before serving, season with salt and pepper and stir in the butter and cheese.

Here is the video recipe of the typical Venetian dish, in this case without the pea cream:


This recipe, being more brothy than a normal risotto, can be stored in the fridge for about 1 or 2 days in a container with an airtight lid. However, we do not recommend freezing.

Preparation tips and a bit of history

If you have followed all the steps to the letter you will notice that the final result will be a cross between a very creamy risotto and a soup. In fact, the vegetable broth will be too much and the quality of rice that we have recommended will not be able to absorb it all in the cooking time . Don't worry, this is not a mistake: the recipe for risi e bisi must be presented in this way, as tradition dictates. The quality of vialone nano is in fact that it does not swell too much during cooking, remaining nice and compact: a characteristic that will make the dish more enjoyable (along with the presence of bacon).

The origins of this recipe, which from the Veronese dialect exactly means "rice and peas", is dubious. We know that it was born in Veneto, and is especially widespread in the areas of Venice, Vicenza and Verona. Depending on the area, however, as often happens, different variations have been developed that use different ingredients or other qualities of rice. Also famous is the rice, peas and strawberries developed in the nineteenth century.

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