Sunday, May 29, 2011

Risi e Bisi Soup

This sounds very posh and Italian but it's actually a Venetian pea and rice soup.  I suppose it's a take on a very liquid risotto as it uses the exact same ingredients : onion, arborio rice, stock & butter but it's ramped up with lots of pancetta, peas & parmesan.  It's light but substantial all at the same time and would make a perfect Summer lunch with some good bread to mop up the last of the soup in the bowl.

I decided to make this because (a) I was starving and (b) to celebrate my foodie friends Lorraine & Bruno of La Cucina in Limerick winning the Best Casual Dining award in the Irish Restaurant Awards 2011.  They are passionate about cooking the very best Italian food (and drinking the very best Italian wine and beer...) and rightly deserve the award.  We can't wait to plan a weekend in Limerick and have a phenomenal meal at their restaurant.

Risi e Bisi

40g Butter
1tbsp Rapeseed Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
200g Pancetta
1.5l Chicken Stock
250g Arborio or Carnaroli Rice
200g Petit Pois
75g Parmesan, freshly grated
2 tbsp Parsley, chopped

Melt the butter & oil in a large saucepan, add the pancetta & onion and fry until the pancetta has started to brown.

Add the peas and about 150ml of stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Bring the rest of the stock to a boil, add the rice and cook over a high heat for 8-10 minutes.

Reduce the rice to a simmer, add the onion, pea & pancetta mixture and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender.

Stir in the grated parmesan & parsley and serve.  If the soup is too thick, thin it out with some more water until it's very loose and soupy.  I can assure you that it needs absolutely NO salt added to it as there's plenty in the pancetta & parmesan.

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