Risi e Bisi (Rice and Peas)

Alex Luck

This dish should be like a risotto, but a little more soupy. You should still be able to eat it with a fork – adjust the quantity of liquid if needed. Leave out the pancetta and Parmesan and use vegetable stock to make it veggie.


  • 25g / 1oz butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 225g / 1 1/4 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
  • small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1.2 litres / 2 1/2 pints hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 375g / 13oz frozen peas
  • 50g / 2oz Parmesan
  • 12 thin slices pancetta
  • handful pea shoots (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Posh RicePosh Rice
by Emily Kydd


Melt the butter and 1 tsp of the oil in a saucepan. Fry the onion for 8 minutes until softened, then stir in the garlic. Add the rice and half the parsley and stir to coat. Pour over the stock, season, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring now and then.

Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the rice is al dente. Turn off the heat and stir through the Parmesan and some seasoning.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the pancetta until crispy. Spoon the rice into shallow bowls, top with the crispy pancetta and oil from the pan, then scatter over the remaining parsley and the pea shoots (if using).

* * *

Recipes excerpted with permission from Posh Rice by Emily Kydd, published by Quadrille Publishing March 2017. Food photography by Alex Luck.

Cook time: 
Serves 4

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