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RISI E BISI translate in Rice and Peas in the Venetian dialect. Peas have been cultivated on the hills and fields of Veneto for centuries. This ancient dish from the Serenissima (most serene) Republic of Venice was ritually offered to the doge, the ruler of the city, on the day celebrating Saint Mark. It is popular in all the regions that were in contact with or subject to Venice, including Dalmatia and Greece.
2 oz (60 g) butter
2 – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz (115 g) bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 oz (115 g) small peas
8 cups (approximately 2 liters) broth
11 oz (300 g) arborio or vialone rice
salt and pepper
4 – 5 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
Rice and Pea Soup
Risi e Bisi
Put the butter, olive oil, bacon, and onion in a saucepan. Turn heat to medium.
When the onion becomes soft, and the bacon is cooked, add peas and 4–5 tablespoons broth. Stir and cover.
Cook for about 5–10 minutes.
Add the rest of the broth, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Add rice, and cook for about 20 minutes.
When the rice is al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked), and the soup has a dense consistency, taste and add salt if necessary. Add pepper, parmigiano cheese. . . .
Stir briefly and serve warm.