Risi e Bisi (Venetian-Style Rice and Peas)

  • Serves

    serves 4


This traditional dish—from one of our favorite Venetian restaurants, Da Fiore--is one of the recipes that, for us, defines the food of Venice. Check your local specialty market for carnaroli rice.


  • 1 34 lb. fresh peas in pods
  • Salt
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 oz. pancetta, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 13 cups carnaroli rice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 bunch parsley leaves, minced
  • Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano


Step 1

Shell peas, reserving pods. Place pods in a medium pot with 8 cups lightly salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain broth into a medium pot, pressing on pods. Discard pods. Keep broth warm over low heat.

Step 2

Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and onions and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add peas and ½ cup warm broth. Cover and cook until peas are tender, 5-10 minutes.

Step 3

Increase heat to high, uncover, and cook off any remaining liquid. Add oil. When oil is hot, add rice and stir to coat well. Add about ¾ cup warm broth and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the broth has been absorbed. Add about ¾ cup more broth. Continue cooking, stirring and adding broth as needed until rice is tender but firm to the bite, about 20 minutes.

Step 4

Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 more cup broth, remaining 2 tbsp. butter, parsley, and ¼ cup parmigiano-reggiano. Cover and allow to rest for a few minutes. Serve with additional parmigiano-reggiano.

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