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Monday 17 February 2014

Gluten Free: Risi e Bisi

There are some days when you wish you’d stayed in bed. You know, those days were things start bad and get progressively worse. They begin with you sleeping through your alarm, putting on odd shoes as you run out the door, you get on the wrong train, accidentally offend your boss when you eventually do get to work… all culminating in you getting home to discover that you left the fridge door open in your haste to leave this morning and your milk is now cottage cheese. That kind of thing. Invariably, more of these kind of days happen to be Mondays than any other day of the week - scientists should look into why.

Fortunately, there’s a dish that seems to have been created to deal with such nightmare days. Risi e Bisi is the culinary equivalent of hiding under a blanket until the world goes away, it’s a hug in a bowl that you eat with a spoon. It’s basically a soupy pea risotto, but without the constant stirring. In its purest form, it’s just five ingredients: butter, shallot, risotto rice, peas and stock. You can definitely play around, depending on your comfort food needs. I’ve added smoked rapeseed oil, dried chilli flakes, mushrooms or bacon as the day’s calamities have required. Really, the recipe is a blank canvas, the rest is up to you.

Risi e Bisi (serves 1 person in need of comfort)
You’ll need:
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • a shallot, finely chopped
  • a clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 130g risotto rice
  • 60g frozen peas
  • 375ml hot vegetable stock
  • a decent grating of Parmesan cheese
Make it!
  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the shallot and chopped garlic. Sauté gently until they're soft and the shallots are translucent.
  2. Add the rice and stir to coat each grain with butter.
  3. Stir in the peas, letting them defrost slightly.
  4. Pour in the stock and bring everything to the boil.
  5. Cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.
  6. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.
I top mine with a couple of slices of crispy bacon. It's not essential, but I've found that bacon generally makes all things better.


  1. This is exactly what i need today! Thank you!

  2. This sounds delicious! And I fully agree that bacon makes all things better. xoxo


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