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Rice and Peas

Makes 4 to 6 servings When you have an ingredient as sweet and perfect as spring peas, you don't need much to make a great meal. And by that we mean carbs and cheese! You can serve this simple risotto alongside a green salad for a light dinner or Mother's Day brunch.


  • 8 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 lb fresh garden peas, shelled
  • 1 qt chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 10 oz (1 1/2 cups) Carnaroli or Vialonenano rice
  • 3/4 cup Parmagiano-Reggiano, grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as necessary


  1. Heat 1/4 cup of the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add half of the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add half of the parsley, and then the peas. Stir to coat the peas with the butter. Add 1 cup of the broth and bring to a gentle simmer until the peas are cooked but still firm, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining broth over low heat; keep warm. Season with salt.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the remaining onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and toast lightly, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add enough of the broth to come 1/2 inch above the rice and cook, stirring frequently to be sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. As the rice absorbs the broth, keep adding more, 1/2 cup at a time.
  5. Once the rice has absorbed almost all the broth, and is al dente, about 16 minutes total cooking time, add the peas and their cooking liquid and continue to cook until the all of the ingredients are fully cooked, 2 minutes more. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup butter and parsley and the cheese and stir vigorously until the risotto is creamy. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve the risotto on flat plates.

Copyright © 2019 The Culinary Institute of America

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