June 05, 2007

Risi e Bisi, Risi e Bisi, Risi e Bisi

How much fun is it to say risi e bisi? Go on, say it ten times fast, this can wait.

For those not in the know, it's a traditional Venetian dish of soupy rice with peas. My understanding is that its seen as child-like comfort food, soft, easy to digest, easy to like. However, because it is so simple, all the ingredients must be top-notch.

Having the horrible problem of not being able to follow a recipe, even a traditional one, I tweaked it. Instead of peas, we used fava beans. While in season, we must eat them at least once a week. They're a pain to prep but if you and a partner tag team, its less time consuming. And you can say risi e bisi aloud while you're doing it.

Risi e Bisi (sort of), adapted from the Food of Italy by Claudia Roden

I hesitated posting this because the beans at the market were starting to get too big and starchy, but some new vendors came with young tiny ones. If you can find the small ones, use favas. If not, you can always use peas, fresh or frozen.

2 slices pancetta or bacon , chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 TB olive oil
6 cups stock, if you use fresh peas you can make pea stock
1 cup Arborio rice
chopped parsley
pecorino, if using favas or else use parmesan

Saute pork with onion and olive oil until onion is translucent and soft. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the rice. Season with a good amount of salt and pepper. When rice is almost done about 15-20 minutes, add the favas or peas. Once everything is cooked, stir in the parsley and cheese. Serve.

This is supposed to be a first course, but it could be dinner with a salad or used as a side. Venetian grandmas must be tut-tutting me.

P.S. Anyone out there who can give me some photo hints? When I try to post a vertical photo here, it gets flipped around. I use Picassa for photo editing and I tried using the Blog This function, but it happened anyway. Help, please!

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Blogger Carl said...

You talk the talk, but are you ready for a throwdown?

June 12, 2007 11:01 PM  

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