Last Saturday at the market, we saw these lovely shelling peas at Mary Buckhaus’ stand and I thought rice and peas for one of our weeknight meals would be perfect.  It was also a steal at $3.00 a pound. 

Not to be confused with the classic Venetian dish, risi e bisi, which is more of a soup/stew, our version has a thicker and creamier consistency. 


Risotto con Zafferano e Piselli (Risotto with Saffron and Peas)


  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 c. rice (we only had jasmine rice on hand so that’s what we used)
  • a few strands of saffron
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. milk (Organic Valley)
  • 1 c. shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded parmigiano reggiano
  • 3 T. butter (Shullsburg Creamery)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 c. shelled peas

Estimated cooking time: 45 minutes

Sautee the onions and garlic until transluscent.  Put the rice and saffron into the pan and mix.  Add the water and cook on medium heat (you should see only a few bubbles rising) while constantly stirring.  Add the milk a little bit at a time.  You might have to add more water as needed.  When the rice is almost al dente, add the cheeses, butter, salt, and pepper.  Turn off the heat when the rice is al dente and put the peas in.  Cover and let it sit for a few minutes.  Serve warm with some shredded parmigiano on top.

We loved how the dish turned out and we were glad to have quite a bit leftover since we used 3 cups of rice.  It tasted great cold for lunch the next day and the next!


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