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Risi e Bisi (Rice with Peas)

A springtime specialty from Venice--creamy rice with tender peas, savory pancetta, and Parmesan cheese.


  • 2 3/4 ounces Veggie-Stock Gold®
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced pancetta
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fresh shelled peas or thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  1. Combine the Veggie-Stock Gold® and the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve the Veggie-Stock Gold®. Keep the stock at a low simmer over low heat.
  2. Heat the oil with 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat.  Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until it is light brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the rice to the pan, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring to coat, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until it is absorbed. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle 1 cup of the hot stock into the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is absorbed. Adjust the heat to maintain the rice at a gentle simmer. Continue adding the stock, 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until each addition is absorbed, until the rice is al dente. (Cooking time is usually 12-16 minutes after the addition of the wine.)
  5. Right after the final addition of stock, stir in the peas, and continue stirring another minute or two, so the peas are heated through.  Add 1/4 cup of hot water if the rice seems dry.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese, parsley, and remaining butter. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately and pass some grated Parmesan at the table.
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Classic French Stocks and Sauces