Mint and Pea Risotto for an Old Friend

My dear friend Emily is visiting and I wanted to make her something special for her visit. But it was sort of last minute so I threw together this risotto that Cia had made for me not too long ago. It’s an easy risotto but you must focus.

5 to 6 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth (I used vegetable broth because Em’s a veggie
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dices
Kosher salt
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
2 cups frozen peas
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. thyme
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  • Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat until very hot and then reduce the heat to keep the broth hot.
  • In another wide, heavy saucepan, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion softens and starts to turn lightly golden, 3 to 5 min.
  • Add the rice and stir until the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 min.

  • Pour in the wine and stir until it’s absorbed, about 1 min.
  • Add another pinch of salt and ladle enough of the hot broth into the pan to cover the rice, about 1 cup.
  • Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a simmer.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth has been mostly absorbed, 2 to 3 min.

  • Continue adding broth in 1/2-cup increments, stirring and simmering, until it has been absorbed each time, at intervals of about 2 to 3 min.
  • After about 16 to 18 min., the rice should be creamy but still fairly firm.
  • At this point, add the peas and another 1/2 cup broth. Continue to simmer and stir until the peas are just cooked and the rice is just tender to the tooth, another 3 to 4 min.
  • Stir in another splash of broth if the risotto is too thick.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mint, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, the remaining 2 Tbs. butter, and the Parmigiano.

  • Season with salt to taste. Serve the risotto with some Parmigiano grated over it and a drizzle of really good olive oil.


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Filed under Pasta, Recipes

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