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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

Risi e Bisi, which means rice and peas in Italian, is a classic Venetian dish, similar to risotto, but with a unique cooking technique. It’s less creamy than risotto and a little soupy.

Buy your ingredients at your favorite Farmers Market! 

Risi e Bisi

about Risi e Bisi

I remember having Risi e Bisi at the Danielli Hotel in Venice on my first trip to Italy. It was a dish I immediately tried to recreate when I got home. Perfect for a light supper or lunch, the dish is similar to risotto but lacks the creamy consistency even though you’re using the same type of rice. The cooking technique is critical to achieve the brothy quality.

putting Risi e Bisi together

Risi e Bisi is one of those dishes you want to make with someone else in the room with you. Not because you need help, but because how you make it is as interesting as the “rice and peas” is delicious.

The recipe details the process, but the gist is you cook the rice and peas in the same pan, but separately until the very end of the cooking process. You would think it wouldn’t work, that something would be overdone or underdone. But it all works out perfectly.

Risi e Bisi is the type of dish you cook while sipping a glass of wine. It’s rustic, elegant, and very Venetian. I love serving it with a dollop of Basil Pesto and a good glass of Frascati.

Eat well and have fun!

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Risi e Bisi
Risi e Bisi
Risi e Bisi

I hope you love this recipe! 

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Need some ideas? Try these:

Spring Green Minestrone

Roasted Vegetable Sandwich

Spring Pea and Ricotta Salad

Buon Appetito!
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Step by Step Instructions

Risi e Bisi Closeup

Risi e Bisi

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
A classic Venetian dish, similar to risotto, but made with a unique cooking technique. It's less creamy than risotto and a little soupy.
5 from 1 vote

Print - members only.  Please log in or JOIN HERE!

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish - Pasta, Pizza, Sandwich, Rice, Main Dish - Vegetarian
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 601 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups chicken stock

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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions green onions -- sliced, white and light green parts only

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  • 2 baby zucchini cut into coins or 1 medium zucchini cut in quarters lengthwise and then sliced

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  • 1 cup arborio rice

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  • 3 cloves garlic

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  • 4 cups fresh shelled peas
  • Kosher salt to taste

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  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt to taste

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  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Heat the stock in a small pot over medium-low heat. I usually use the burner right behind the one I use for the skillet; you will want the pan of stock close to your skillet later on.
  • Heat a high-sided large skillet over medium-low heat. Melt the butter and olive oil together.
  • Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for two minutes until soft. Do not brown.
  • Add the zucchini, season with a little salt, and stir until they become soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Pushing the vegetables to the edges of the pan to create a space in the center, increase the heat and add the rice into the center of the pan. Stir, just the rice, until it is coated with the olive oil and begins to cook.
  • Using a fine grater, grate the garlic over the rice and stir the vegetables and rice together. Now create an open ring around the outer edge of the pan, leaving about a 1-inch space. Fill the space with the peas. Carefully stir the peas, keeping them in their ring to coat them with the oil. Sprinkle all with a small amount of salt.
  • Ladle one cup of broth over the rice in the center. Stir constantly, just the rice, until the liquid is absorbed. Add another ladle of broth to the rice portion of the pan; stirring constantly and keeping the peas at the outer edge. Repeat this process one more time for a total of three times. When the liquid is absorbed, the rice will not be cooked through, but it will be releasing it's starch and becoming creamy. This part of the process should take about 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the remaining broth, this time covering all of the ingredients. Now the peas will float. Shake and swirl the pan, allowing the ingredients to combine without stirring. Cook for an additional 8 minutes, until the rice is al-dente. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
  • Serve in a bowl topped with freshly grated Parmesan and black pepper.

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Nutrition

Calories: 601kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 22gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 448mgPotassium: 1214mgFiber: 10gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 2046IUVitamin C: 95mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 6mg
Keyword peas, rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
My Basil Pesto recipe is committed to memory. I make many varieties of pesto, but this recipe is my gold standard.
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Sauces, Dressings, other
Cuisine Italian
Servings 16
Calories 187 kcal

Equipment

  • food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups basil leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 cups pinenuts or walnuts I often use half of each
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Asiago
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Instructions
 

  • Place the basil leaves, garlic, and nuts in a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade.
  • Pulse until evenly chopped; stop and push down as necessary. Slowly pour in olive oil while processing continuously.
  • Remove the cover and add in the cheeses; season generously with salt and pepper.

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Nutrition

Calories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 245mgPotassium: 41mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 445IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 193mgIron: 1mg
Keyword nuts, parmesan, pinenuts, walnuts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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