Risi e Bisi (Italian Rice & Peas) is a simple, humble and comforting one-pot recipe which originates from Venice. It's got a great flavour base from plenty of sweet leeks and green peas and it's creamy and rich with none of the fussiness of a risotto. In fact it's really easy to make and very family friendly.
½teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
OPTIONAL fresh parsley to top, chopped
OPTIONAL Vegan Parmesan to top
In a large skillet, over a medium-high heat, sauté the leeks and onions in the olive oil for about 5 mins, until they become translucent.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the minced garlic, and continue to cook for another two to three minutes.
Stir in the rice. Let it cook for 2 mins, stirring frequently, then add the peas.
Add the stock and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is cooked, swollen and tender (spoon a piece out to try it) and most of the stock has been absorbed but it's still quite runny like a very thick soup. It will continue to thicken a bit as it cools while you serve it up. (See the progress shots in the post above for how it should look when it's ready).
Remove from the heat, add the vegan butter and black pepper and give it a really good stir to incorporate. Taste a little bit to check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve immediately, and top each serving with an optional dollop of butter, parsley and vegan parmesan cheese if desired.
This recipe is at its best and most authentic when made with the vegan butter and olive oil. However if you prefer to cook oil-free you can sauté the vegetables in a little water instead of the olive oil and omit the vegan butter at the end. The type of rice you use is very important. It must be risotto rice. Do not rinse the rice before using it. It’s essential to keep all the starch on the rice.Violife parmesan is the best vegan parmesan I have tried and great with this recipe. Storage – Risi e Bisi leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.Freezing – Risi e Bisi freezes well for up to 3 months. Cook it and allow it to cool then transfer to one or more freezer safe container before putting into the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.To reheat – Leftovers can be warmed gently in a pan on the stove top or can be microwaved at 30 to 60 second intervals until piping hot. Have a little extra stock on hand to loosen it up with because it will likely thicken up a lot. Simply add a drop or two as its warming and stir it in well until you get the consistency you want.