Spring is right around the corner — this weekend, finally! And even if it doesn’t really look or feel like Spring where you are, you can EAT like it’s Spring. That’s why I love this risotto. It’s loaded with sweet peas (that just happen to be frozen) that act as the perfect counterpoint to a healthy dose of black pepper and parmesan, not to mention that creamy, comforting Arborio rice. I know that some people may think risotto is complicated or difficult to make, but it’s just the opposite. This risotto takes at most 30 minutes from start to finish, with ingredients most of us already have on hand, and doesn’t require constant stirring. It’s the perfect dish to eat on the Equinox, or alongside your Easter ham, or heck — skip the corned beef tonight and have risotto instead! — Megan B. Click for risotto!
Pea and Black Pepper Risotto
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablsepoon butter (optional, but worth it)
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 c dry white wine (eg, Sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio)
4 cups chicken stock , warmed (or veg, if preferred)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
One 16-ounce bag frozen petite peas (3 cups), thawed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
garnish with extra black pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and shallot, cover and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir over moderately low heat until slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of wine and cook, stirring occasionaly until it is almost evaporated. Add 1 cup of the warmed chicken stock and cook, stirring, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock, about 1 cup at a time, stirring until the stock is absorbed before adding more. Cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente and suspended in thick, creamy liquid, about 17 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper; Add the peas and cook just until heated through. Stir in the cheese, garnish with more coarse ground pepper, and serve immediately.