A classic Italian combination of spring peas and rice, Risi e Bisi is a blend of simple, fresh flavors. Serve as a first course or as an accompaniment to roast chicken or lamb.
3 cups chicken broth
2 pounds peas, shelled
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup rice, preferably short-grained Arborio
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup freshly grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add the peas and cook at a gentle bubble for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the peas with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl, reserving the broth.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a wide saucepan. Add the onion and celery and toss to coat. Stir over medium heat until the onion is tender. Add the rice, stirring to coat each kernel. Ladle about 1 cup of reserved broth into the rice and regulate the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently. Stir in the wine and continue cooking until all the liquid is evaporated. Add more broth and continue cooking until the rice is tender and a creamy consistency develops. (This may take 25 to 30 minutes, and you may not need to add all the chicken broth.) Stir in the peas and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.