Student food blog: Pea risotto

Sophie Edmonds
Sophie Edmonds
I love pea risotto. It's my favourite dinner. It has peas and risotto and if you are home at mum and dad's there is parmesan cheese and basil pesto too!

To be honest Mum stocked me up with parmesan cheese and pesto when she came down to visit the other weekend. You don't need it (we normally make do with a pile of grated Edam) but it sure is better with them.

It is a creamy rice dish that uses the starch of the arborio to create the creamy consistency. The rice is first slightly toasted in butter with onions and garlic then white wine is added.

Once that has evaporated stock is added in small amounts, while stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice has swollen to become soft or al dente, just like pasta. The arborio rice should be creamy but still quite fluid or all'onda ("flowing in waves") rather than dry and stodgy.

Risotto is best eaten fresh. Leftovers tend to become solid and stodgy, but still delicious.

Here is where you need to buy a cask of white wine. Earlier in the year we invested in one, and boy I am glad we did. More wine equals more risotto. It doesn't matter if it is terrible vinegary stuff. It just needs to be white.

I guess you could just save a cup from Saturday night but the likelihood of that happening is low. Very low.

Let's do this, shall we?

Pea Risotto
(Serves four - with spare for seconds)

50g butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
6-7 cups hot chicken stock (or seven cups of boiling water and five chicken Oxo cubes)
2 cups frozen peas (baby peas are even better)
½ cup grated Edam cheese (or ¼ cup grated parmesan)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan (or electric wok in our case) on a medium heat, soften the onions and garlic in the butter.
Cook until translucent but not brown. You don't want the brown colour to carry through into the risotto.
Then add the arborio rice and toast for a minute or two. Turn up the heat to high then add the wine. It will make a searing and sizzling sound.
Once the wine has pretty much been absorbed start adding the chicken stock, one cup at a time. Stir the rice continuously; you don't want it to catch on the bottom and burn.
Once the stock has been absorbed, add the next cup. Repeat this process until all the stock has been added or the rice swells and becomes soft and creamy. It should take between 30-40 minutes.
Add the cheese and the frozen peas, and keep stirring until the peas have thawed and warmed through.

Serve up, sprinkle over some more grated cheese and a dollop of pesto (if you have some) and enjoy! Then have a second bowl. Then maybe a third.

Like I said, enjoy!

See you next time.

- Sophie Edmonds

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