Thursday, 6 September 2012

Risi e bisi , risotto with peas

Steve and I visited Saltburn by the Sea today, a kind of celebratory day out following the kids return to school (can I say that?) For those who aren't local it's a Victorian Seaside town, very much with the feel of days gone by. There's the original pier with a Funicular running down to it, some really nice cafes, shops and lots of fish and chips. The beach is vast, clean and obviously a place for the surfers who were enjoying some good waves today.  We resisted the delicious smell of the fish as chips and ate our picnic in the sunshine on the pier. Sometime earlier this year someone placed a line of knitted figures along the pier to commemorate the Olympics. They are still there and had I had my camera I would have photographed everyone of them, they are a work of art. I am not sure how long they will be there and whether they will last the winter, but the following link has some great photographs. Hopefully we might go back on Sunday with the children as there is a promise of a lovely sunny weekend.

Tea tonight was a variation on a classic Venetian dish, Risi e bisi, from "At Elizabeth Davids table'. I substituted the ham for chorizo as I had some left over from another meal. It added a good flavour and a nice colour to the meal.

Serves 4
A small onion chopped small
45g butter
60g ham
375g frozen peas (the recipe states using fresh, I used frozen and a much smaller amount than this)
3 pints of chicken stock
2 teacups of risotto rice
Parmesan cheese.

Fry the onion in 15g of the butter. Add the chopped ham then the peas to the pan. When they are coated in the butter pour in a large cup of the hot stock, and when it's bubbling add the rice. Now pour over more stock, about 1 pint and cook gently before stirring, before it is all absorbed add more. This is not quite the same as an ordinary risotto as it should have a little more liquid when served. When the rice is cooked add the rest of the butter and grated parmesan. Serve with some parmesan grated on top.


  1. Made this for lunch today! Lovely and felt a lot easier than other risotto's I have made previously. Reminds me of what we ate the last time we went to Cafe Lilly's in Norton, I think they added mint, do you think fresh mint stirred through at the end would work?

  2. If you made it with ham, yes I think mint would have worked but not with the chorizo, it's too strong a flavour.

  3. Yes, I did use ham, ugh agree chorizo and mint does not sound good!!