risi e bisi

If you say Veneto, you say Risi e Bisi

Risi e Bisi, all the tradition in one dish!

Risi e Bisi is the traditional first course of Veneto region, in particular of Venezia, Verona and Vicenza cuisine. This recipe is based on rice and peas. This is a first course that is considered somewhere between a risotto and a soup. A dish to be enjoyed especially in spring, when there are fresh peas, the basic ingredient of this delicious meal. Vialone Nano rice is preferred for this dish.

A bit of history

As far as the history of Risi e Bisi, it can be said that it was a royal dish. Indeed, it was a tradition in the city of Venice to offer Risi e Bisi to the Doge on the occasion of the city’s patron day, St. Mark, on 25th April.
In the 19th century, however, ‘Risi e bisi e fragole’ (white, red, and green like the Italian tricolor) was the Venetian equivalent of the ‘viva verdi’ shouted in Milan against the Austrian occupiers.


There are different variations of Risi e Bisi, depending on the area where is prepared. The recipe remains more or less the same, but the quality of the ingredients used differs. The most known variants of Risi e Bisi are the one that uses prosciutto crudo raw ham or bacon or osso buco instead of lard. Another variant, however, is with vegetable broth instead of meat broth. If you prefer to make a vegetarian version of Risi e Bisi, you just have to avoid the meat broth.

The traditional recipe

  • 60 g butter
  • 1 onion
  • pepper
  • 350 g Vialone Nano rice
  • 1300 ml vegetable broth
  • salt
  • 1 kg peas
  • 50 g bacon
  • 40 g Parmesan
  • 30 g parsley

Let’s prepare Risi e Bisi!

First of all, prepare the vegetal broth and let it cool down. Meanwhile, shell the peas (keeping the pods to one side). Once all the pods have been shelled, wash them well under running water and drain them, put them in the saucepan with the broth, cover with a lid and let them cook for 60 minutes on a medium heat from the moment they come to boil.

After cooking, use an immersion blender, blend the pods without removing them from the stock, until you get a puree, pour it into a sieve placed on a bowl, and press the puree well with a spatula in order to eliminate the too fibrous part of the pods, collecting the juice that will come out and keep it warm.

Now let’s move to the rice. Place half of the butter in a large saucepan and let it melt, add the finely chopped onion and cook 10-15 minutes on low heat, add the chopped bacon and chopped parsley. Let flavor for a couple of minutes, then add the peas, and a tablespoon of oil. Pour two ladles of broth or hot water and stir to cook for 5 minutes.

Then add the broth obtained with the pods together with the peas, season with salt, pepper, and bring to boil. Then add the rice and salt if necessary. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon. At the end of cooking the consistency of Risi e Bisi must be that of a soup, but not excessively sour. Turn off the heat and stir the rice with the other half of the butter and grated cheese.

Here you are the amazing Risi e Bisi! Enjoy it!


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Un post condiviso da Anna Włodarczyk (@mopswkuchni)

Cover photo from Youtube