Risi e Bisi

So here’s the thing…I’m not usually a big fan of Rachael Ray’s recipes.  I think that she does some really interesting things with different flavors, textures, and techniques, but she also relies heavily on big chunks of meat as the stars of her meals (which I think is a cop out…but that’s a rant for another day perhaps…).  I totally respect the idea behind her “30 Minute Meals” but so many of them require SO many ingredients and some of these ingredients are pretty specialized (which means that the meal is not often very financially prudent!).  I did, however, come across this gem a few years ago and it has never done me wrong!

Risi e Bisi means Rice and Kisses in Italian.  The kisses are frozen green peas that punctuate the rice perfectly and I  am of the (perhaps unpopular) opinion that there is not much that cannot be made better by the addition of frozen peas!  Her original recipe calls for Arborio rice but in the interest of making it a bit more healthy I’ve been using short grain brown rice with much success but the cooking time is longer than the original recipe indicates  (I’ll give you the original cooking time if you decide to use traditional Arborio and further instructions if you use the short grain brown).  It’s a risotto-type dish, but it is much less labor intensive than traditional risotto.


  • 4 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 rounded cup short grain brown (or Arborio) rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

To make:

*Place broth in a small pot and warm over low heat.

*Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat.

*Add olive oil, and garlic. Saute garlic 1 minute, then add rice.

*Toast the rice 2 minutes, then ladle in 1/3 of the stock.

*Bring to a bubble.

*Stir rice occasionally, allowing the rice to get starchy and the stock to cook into the rice.

* Add more stock when rice starts to become dry.

*Continue stirring and ladling broth until rice is al dente, 22 minutes.  (If you’re using the short grain brown rice you can judge when the rice is cooked enough for you.)

*Stir in peas and cheese and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Survey says: This is ALWAYS a good meal!  Gemma got to eat it right as it was finished and gobbled it up…I got to eat it about an hour later after I got her to bed and had reheated it in the microwave and it was still fantastic!  There is some in the fridge waiting for Jake and I’m sure that it will be even better after he reheats that portion!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Michaela on January 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Delicious and gluten-free?! This is a recipe I can get behind!


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