Risi e bisi (italian rice and peas)

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Fresh, young peas, weighed with the pods
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons Chopped onion
\N \N Salt
3½ cup Meat broth (see below)
1 cup Italian rice, like Arborio
2 tablespoons Chopped parsley
½ cup Freshly grated parmesan cheese, preferably parmigiano-reggiano

All of the above is from _Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking_ by Marcella Hazan.

1. Shell the peas. Keep 1 cupful of the empty pods, selecting the crispest unblemished ones, and discard the rest.

2. Separate the two halves of each pod. Take a half pod, turning the glossy, inner, concave side that held the peas, toward you. That side is lined by a tough, film-like membrane that you must pull off. Hold the pod with one hand, and with the other snap one end, pulling it down gently against the pod itself. You will find the thin membrane coming away without resistance. Because it is so thin, it is likely to break off before you have detached it entirely. Don't fuss over it: Keep the skinned portion of the pod, snap the other end of the pod and try to remove the remaining section of membrane. Cut off and discard those parts of any pod that you have been unable to skin completely. It's not necessary to end up with perfect whole pods since they will dissolve in the cooking anyway. Any skinned piece will serve the purpose, which is that of sweetening the soup.

Add all the prepared pod pieces to the shelled peas, soak in cold water, drain, and set aside.

3. Put the butter and onion in a soup pot and turn on the heat to medium.

Saute the onion until it becomes colored a pale gold, then add the peas and the stripped-down pods, and a good pinch of salt to keep the peas green.

Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring to coat the peas well.

4. Add 3 cups of the broth, cover the pot, and adjust the heat so the broth bubbles at a slow, gentle boil for 10 minutes.

5. Add the rice and the remaining ½ cup of broth, stir, cover the pot again, and cook at a steady moderate boil until the rice is tender, but firm to the bite, about 20 minutes or so. Stir occasionally while the soup is cooking.

6. When the rice is done, stir in the parsley, then the grated Parmesan.

Taste and correct for salt, then turn off the heat. Serves 4 Posted to EAT-L Digest 05 Mar 97 by Felicia Pickering <MNHAN063@...> on Mar 5, 1997

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