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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

One of my favorite Venetian Primi Piatti : Risi e Bisi- Rice and Peas

My favorite Venetian Primo Piatto: Risi e Bisi -Rice and Peas

HISTORY: the fame of this dish is linked, beyond its delicacy, also to fact that the Doge of the Serenissima, (the chief magistrate and leader of the Republic of Venice), used to serve it as good wishes for the party of the Republic of Venice, at St. Mark's day. Combining rice, cereal symbol of fertility (reason why is often handfuls thrown on brides) with peas, springtime fruits for excellence cultivated in the lagoon’s gardens, this delicious dish was offered to all members of the Venetian government. It went on to be imitated in taste and sense also at the popular level ,and nowadays rice and peas is considered among the most internationally known dishes of the Veneto region.

INGREDIENTS (2-4 people)
1 small package of frozen peas
1 white onion medium diced
Vialone Nano or Arborio ( in Italy we use 1 and half small espresso cup a person as portion)
1 slice of bacon or lard
Fresh parsley ( 2 tablespoons when chopped)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste if necessary for the broth
To thicken: a knob of butter and cheese Grana Padano (grated (to taste)

PREPARATION
Cut the onion in small pieces and cook it till lightly brown in extra virgin olive oil, about 5 minutes.
Add bacon or lard, also cut in small pieces, cook 2 minutes without browning.
Add the frozen peas with chopped parsley stretching with a little by little of broth until almost cooked.
Add the rice, toasting and extending hand to hand with the addition of broth warmed up already.
When ready add to thicken a knob of butter and cheese Grana Padano (grated (to taste) and serve it.

You can also make it with fresh peas. In that case you need to shell the peas and bring to boil the pods in a pot of salted water. Let it boil for about twenty minutes and then pass through a sieve. To stay on my diet I often skip the bacon or lard. It is still very tasty and quiet delicious with the butter and the cheese anyway.
You can also add a half cup of white wine with the broth to give it an extra kick.
Buon Appetito.
From Venice With Love,
Giada


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