Risi e Bisi; birthdays

This classic Italian dish is normally served as a first course (as are most pasta and rice dishes in Italy).

We think it makes a great, creamy side dish.

The authentic version is more like a thick soup, but I made this a bit thicker.

Still, like all risottos, it should be creamier than many American adaptations, not holding it’s shape on a plate.

And for those who have not ready any of my other risotto posts: it’s not necessary to stir constantly and one does not need to add extra butter at the end to make it creamy.

I stir vigorously, often, but not constantly, and the creaminess comes from the rice and the Parmesan plus not overcooking.

It’s easy…. really

As this is meant to be a side dish, not a main course, I have cut my usual recipe in half.

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Risi e Bisi

Though normally served as a first course we like is as a savory side with a grilled steak or pork tenderloin.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Risotto


  • 1 cup frozen peas use fresh if available
  • 1/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/3 cup dry, white wine
  • 11 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium sauce pan heat butter; add shallot and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. 
  • Add white wine and stir. 
  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/4 cup of stock and stir. 
  • If the peas are frozen add to the stock now. 
  • When the rice has almost absorbed the stock add another 1/4 cup and the peas if they are fresh. 
  • Continue adding stock, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. 
  • Before the last 1/4 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. 
  • You may not need the last 1/4 cup but if more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. 
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – it will not hold it’s shape on a plate. 
  • If using frozen peas, strain them from any remaining stock and add now. 
  • Stir in the Parmesan. 
  • Spoon into a bowl and serve immediately. 


This is an easy risotto – and if you have peas in the freezer and Arborio in the pantry it’s a great last minute addition to any meal. It doubles or triples easily/

Keywords: risotto, peas, risi e bisi

Risi e Bisi

It’s my older brother’s birthday today…. Happy B-Day big bro!

And my younger brother’s 2 sons’ birthdays….. Happy B-Day nevvies!

And Guapa’s birthday…..

She’s the only one I have a birthday photo of.

She wasn’t very enthusiastic about having her photo taken this morning.

We’d been on our early morning walk and it wasn’t time for our noon walk so the idea of going outside into the sunshine was roundly vetoed.

Morning naps are serious business, chez nous, (as are afternoon naps, and evening dozes) and I was disturbing hers.

She looked at me once, as I lifted the camera, then refused to look again.

That is her favorite bed…. and the biggest I can find of that nice, fluffy type.

She manages…..

Happy 9th Birthday Guapa !

4 thoughts on “Risi e Bisi; birthdays”

  1. Happy Birthday, Guapa! And happy birthday to brother and nephews. 🙂

    I’ve been making risotto the Serious Eats way so I don’t have to keep stirring. It works just as well. At least for me. 🙂

    Murphy is my blue dobe. He’s a runner so, though we’re on a lot of acreage, he goes out on a run or he’d be out in the road and it’s not busy, but the cars fly. So today, I put him out on his run and sat in a folding chair in the sun. It was only 40 out, but not a cloud in the sky, so it was great. He won’t go out alone because dobes are velcro dogs but even so, I wouldn’t let him out alone anyway. It worked out well for both of us. I’m getting the gardening itch now, but it’s still too cold 🙁

    • I have never done the ‘stir constantly’ bit – a myth perpetuated by the food critics, in my opinion. My garden has been tilled and I can start hoeing and plant the onions. Guapa knows that when I take my water bottle I stay outside – then she comes along for sun time. Otherwise, she ignores me putting my jacket on.

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