Risi e bisi

by Ed Halmagyi


  • 200g pancetta, diced finely
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • ½ head fennel, diced finely
  • 1 leek, diced finely
  • 1 brown onion, diced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bunch thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1kg fresh peas
  • 350g Arborio rice
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan


1 Sauté the pancetta in olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat until the pancetta has browned. Add the vegetables, garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Shell the peas, reserve the pods, and blanch the peas. Bring the stock to a simmer with the pea pods.
2 Turn the heat to high, add the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, stir well, then begin adding the stock ¼ cup at a time, cooking until the stock is almost absorbed before adding more.
3 Blanch the peas in rapidly boiling salted water until tender then stir in with the butter and parmesan. Serve.

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