December 29, 2011

Risotto with Peas

risotto with peas
I absolutely love risotto, but for some reason, I’ve never made it myself. I guess it’s one of those things that I’ve always just assumed is way too hard for someone like me to make (probably because I watch too much Top Chef and risotto always seems to be the dish that the judges criticize the most).

Today, however, I discovered that risotto is actually quite easy to make at home, and I’m kicking myself for not trying it sooner! I feel like now I have to go back and find all those delicious risotto recipes I’ve seen on other blogs but haven’t bothered to bookmark because I thought I couldn’t make them (most recently, for example, this farro risotto with squash and kale from Love & Olive Oil).

Sure, it’s a bit labor intensive because you have to stir the risotto constantly for 20 minutes, but just think of it as your workout for the day. I’m sure you could simultaneously throw in some squats or lunges as you stir, but because I’m on holidays, stirring was enough exertion for me. The rest is easy peasy, as long as you get all your ingredients ready ahead of time (which doesn’t take long at all).

risotto with peas
I was nervous that because this was my first time making risotto, it would end up inedible, but it turned out to be amazing! The risotto was creamy, the rice was just the right al dente texture, and the peas added the perfect burst of sweetness to balance out the richness of the dish. Even my dad exclaimed that it was delicious, and he is much more experienced at making risotto than I am!

I’ve written out the recipe as I made it below, but the original version is actually from a video (or “recipideo”: a recipe demonstrated in a video in under 4 minutes), so you can watch this link to see exactly how the risotto is made (and how easy it is!) As you can see, I made a few changes to the original recipe, such as adding parsley, garlic, salt and pepper for added flavour, and leaving out the butter because I thought the risotto tasted rich enough without it.

Now here’s the fun part: Aurora, the company that makes all those delicious Italian products you see in the grocery stores, and who made the recipideo for this risotto, is offering you the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to My Italian Cantina, an online store where you can purchase a variety of Italian and European products. All you have to do is make this risotto with peas dish yourself at home (and feel free to make your own substitutions like I did), then snap a photo and visit this link to submit it and be entered to win the $50.00 gift certificate! You have until January 3rd to enter, and the winners will be announced January 6th. So hurry up and watch the recipideo, make this delicious risotto, take a quick picture, and enter the contest! Just be warned that the video is set to an extremely catchy song that may end up stuck in your head all day :) Good luck!

UPDATE: The above contest is now closed.

risotto with peas
Risotto with Peas

Adapted from Aurora Importing

Serves 4-6


9 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube (chicken bouillon would also work)
1-1/2 cups superfine Arborio rice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt & pepper


Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Leave simmering as you make the risotto.

As you wait for the water to boil, prepare all your ingredients so everything is ready to go (chop onion, garlic, and parsley; rinse peas to thaw; grate parmesan; measure out the rice and wine).

Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bouillon cube, rice, and garlic, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. Set a timer for 18 minutes.

For the duration of the timer, continuously add the simmering water to the rice a ladle at a time, stir until absorbed by the rice, then add another ladle, stir again, etc. Keep stirring constantly! When there are about 3 minutes left on the timer, add the peas.
By the time the 18 minutes is up, you should be almost out of water and the rice should be creamy and al dente.

When done, remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

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