rice and peas
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour + 30 minutes
Keywords: gluten-free vegetarian rice onion parsley cheese Italian
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 lb / 450 g peas
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small or 1/2 large carrot, chopped
- 1 small or 1/2 large celery rib, chopped (in version 2, I used a few leaves of lovage, slivered)
- 1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion (in version 2, I used a small leek, white and light green portion, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly)
- 1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsely, finely chopped
- 1 cup / 200 g Carnaroli, Vialone Nano or Arborio rice
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (in version 2, I used 1 oz. / 28 g of fresh chévre, crumbled)
Rinse the peas, then shell them, setting aside the empty pods. Put the pods, carrot, celery (or lovage), onion and a pinch of salt in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and keep at a lively simmer, covered, for one hour. Let cool slightly then strain the broth. You should have at least 3 cups / 710 ml of broth. If not, add a bit of water to bridge the gap.
In a 2 qt. saucepan, warm up olive oil, then add the onion (or leek) and garlic and stir. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent, then add the peas and parsley and 1 tablespoon / 15 ml of the broth. Cook on medium-low until the peas are just tender. After the first 5 minutes, cover the pan. The time depends on the peas. Make sure the peas don't dry out (in which case, add a bit of hot water) or overcook.
In the meantime, bring broth to a simmer in a 1 qt. saucepan and keep it at that temperature. When the peas are ready, add the rice and toast for a couple of minutes, while stirring. Ladle enough of the simmering broth to barely cover the rice. Allow the rice to absorb most of the broth, then add more broth, a ladleful at a time, letting the rice absorb most of the broth before adding more. Make sure the rice never gets dry, keep it at a lively simmer and stir at regular intervals.
Taste the rice 15 minutes after the first addition of broth: if it feels a bit hard at the core, cook it 1-2 minutes longer, then check again. (The cooking time depends on various factors, including the kind of rice.) Once ready, remove the pan from the heat, distribute the cheese of choice on the surface, then stir well to incorporate. Taste and adjust the salt, if needed. Let the risotto rest, covered, for a couple of minutes while you gather the guests around the table. Serve immediately and enjoy.