This is a version of a classic Venetian dish. Two seemingly simple ingredients, rice and peas, are found matched together in cuisines throughout the world, proving that it really is an excellent combination. This particular recipe, which serves 4 as a main or 6 as a starter, uses a pea puree as well as fresh peas, making it extra green and delicious. I have a feeling this was an idea I may have stolen from my boyfriend.






Skill level

Average: 4 (13 votes)


  • 100 g podded peas
  • olive oil
  • river salt and black pepper
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1.4 litres vegetable stock (approximately)
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 300 g carnaroli rice
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • 40 g butter

Pea puree

  • 150 g podded peas
  • olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 50 ml vegetable stock
  • river salt and black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the pea puree, in a pot of boiling salted water, blanch the 150 g peas until they are just cooked, cool in a bowl of iced water, drain and set aside.

In a small pan on a medium heat, throw in a splash of oil and cook the onion and garlic together until nicely softened. Add the butter, thyme and peas and give it a little stir before adding the stock and a little seasoning. Simmer the mixture for a minute or so to let the flavours combine. Remove from the heat and blend in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

For the risi e bisi, in a pot of boiling salted water, blanch the 100 g of peas until they are just cooked, cool in a bowl of iced water, drain and set aside.

In a large wide-based pot over a medium heat, add a medium splash of oil, seasoning and onion. Cook the onion slowly and gently, stirring often until it starts to soften.

Meanwhile, place vegetable stock in another pot over a gentle heat ready for action. You want the stock to be hot but not boiling.

Add the sage and rice to the pot with onion and give the mix a good stir so all the grains of rice get nicely coated in the oil.

Add the wine and continue stirring until all the liquid is nearly evaporated.

At this stage, start slowly adding the stock and stirring. Continue for about 15 minutes, by which stage your rice should be well on its way to being ready, and then add your blanched peas.

Now this is when you need to focus. Your aim is to have used most of the stock, you want your rice to still be a little firm and you want your risotto to be looking quite dry. Don’t be scared if it takes a few minutes to get to this stage.

Once there, add the pea puree, give it a good stir and then add an extra ladle of stock, the parmesan and the butter. Do not stir, just cover your pot with a lid, turn off the heat and let it rest there for a few minutes.

Take the lid off the risotto, give it a final stir and don’t be afraid to add an extra bit of stock if it doesn’t look quite right.

Serve in warm bowls with a little drizzle of oil and an extra turn of black pepper.


• Cooking risotto can be fraught with danger as it’s one of those things that is easy to make but is equally as easy to not get it quite right. People are often firm in their beliefs regarding the proper cooking method and in how wet the finished product should be. I was taught the “feed and starve” method: add a little stock, stir and wait until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid before adding more. I’m also fond of a wetter style of risotto.


Photography by Benito Martin
Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd
Slab and Slub bowls from Small Spaces; tiles from Onsite Supply and Design; wooden board from Maison et Jardin.