Italian soups are simultaneously hearty and wholesome and risi e bisi is no exception, using easy ingredients for a simple weeknight meal.






Skill level

Average: 3 (50 votes)


  • 1½ litres good chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 40 g butter
  • 2 golden French shallots, finely chopped
  • 30 g piece smoked pancetta
  • 320 g risotto rice (vialone nano or Arborio)
  • 200 g (1½ cups) frozen peas
  • 35 g (⅓ cup) grated parmesan
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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.


1. Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.

2. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large heavy-based large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and piece of pancetta and cook gently for about 2 minutes.

3. Add three quarters of the stock to the rice. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for a further 6-7 minutes or until the rice is al dente.

4. Remove from the heat, discard the pancetta, then add the parmesan and remaining butter and stir well to release the starch. Season with salt and pepper and add an extra ladleful of stock to give it a slightly soupy finish.


Silvia Colloca shares her Italian family secrets in the brand-new second-season of Cook like an Italian.