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Risotto with Peas and Pistachios

Risotto with Peas and Pistachios


  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsely leaves

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, packed

  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, packed

  • 3 tablespoons shelled pistachios, toasted

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 lime or small lemon, zested and juiced

  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/4 pound pancetta or prosciutto ends, chopped

  • 3 large scallions or 1 small onion, finley chopped

  • 1 1/4 cups arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons butter


In a saucepan, warm the chicken stock. In another saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to boil. Salt the water, add the peas and boil for 3 minutes; drain.

In a food processor, pulse the parsley, mint, cheese, tarragon, pistachios, garlic, lime (or lemon) zest, lime (or lemon) juice and half the peas; season with salt and pepper. Pour in about 4-6 tablespoons EVOO and pulse into a thick pesto.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep saucepan, heat the remaining EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta (or prosciutto) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the shallots (or onion) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook to evaporate, about 2 minutes. Ladle in the warm stock a few ladlefuls at a time, stirring to develop the starch and waiting until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. This dish will take exactly 18 minutes from the first addition of stock.

During the last minute of cooking, stir in the butter, pesto and remaining whole peas.