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Rachael's Risi e Bisi with Spinach

Rachael's Risi e Bisi with Spinach


  • ½ pound spinach

  • A fat handful of mint

  • 1 small green chili pepper, such as jalapeno or serrano, stemmed, seeded if you prefer mild heat, coarsely chopped (optional)

  • 1 small lemon

  • 6 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock or broth

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1½ cups arborio or carnaroli rice

  • Salt and pepper

  • ½ cup white wine (optional)

  • 2 cups fresh peas

  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 round cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 fat handfuls)


In a food processor pulse, chop the spinach, adding a few handfuls at a time, and with the last handful, add the mint leaves, chili pepper and juice of lemon.

In a medium saucepot over medium-low heat, warm the stock or broth.

Heat a risotto pan or rounded bottom pot over medium-high heat, add EVOO, onion and garlic, soften 2-3 minutes, add rice and season with salt and pepper, and toast the rice 2 minutes. Add wine and let it absorb while stirring rice with wooden spoon or risotto spoon (a spoon with a hole at its center to build more starch as you stir). Add a few ladles of stock at a time and stir vigorously to build a creamy, starchy risotto. From the first addition of the stock, the risotto will take 18 minutes to prepare to al dente. In the last 3 to 5 minutes, add the spinach mixture and peas, then just before serving, melt in the butter. Finish with cheese, and adjust salt and pepper.