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Catholic Recipe: Risi e Bisi


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups shelled fresh small green peas (2 pounds unshelled), or 1 package frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 cups chicken broth, hot
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Details

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: n/a
  • Origin: Veneto region, Italy

Also Called: Rice and Peas

A traditional dish from the Veneto region of Italy, and also a dish to serve on St. Mark's Day on April 25.


Put 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat. When it comes to a sizzle, stir in the onion, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until he rice is opaque.

Add the wine and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.

Add the peas, 2 cups of the broth, salt and pepper. Cover, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until the broth is absorbed.

Add 1 more cup of the broth. When this is absorbed, add the remaining cup of the broth, and cook until the rice and peas are tender. (Cooking time after the rice is added will be 15 to 20 minutes.)

Add the parsley, Parmesan cheese, and the remaining butter. Mix lightly and serve immediately in soup bowls.

Recipe Source: Festa: Recipes and Recollections of Italian Holidays by Helen Barolini, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, New York, 1988
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