I have the best memories of the risi e bisi I made in law school out of an old Food & Wine magazine. Cue "Evergreen," a/k/a, the theme to The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand, an actress/singer I've never understood. Risi e bisi is a classic Italian recipe, basically risotto with peas. David makes risotto with a pressure cooker and, don't get me wrong, it's great, but it's not really Italian grandmother-y. I love the standing and standing for forty minutes to get the risotto creamy and just perfectly al dente.
Risi e bisi
Adapted from Italian Cooking at Home
2 quarts chicken stock, homemade or otherwise
2/3 cup chopped yellow onion
2 1/4 cups arborio or long-grain white pearl rice
2 cups peas, shelled, preferably fresh
6 tbsp. dry white wine
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
chopped fresh parsley to garnish
Boil the chicken broth and keep it warm. In a large pot, warm the oil over low heat and add onion. Saute the onion over low heat without letting it brown, then add the rice, constantly stirring, until the grains become opalescent. Watch out for burning. Stir in the wine all at once and add the first dose of broth, about a cup. Stir until the liquid is almost absorbed, then add by ladlefuls until the rice is just al dente. You may have a bit of extra liquid. The cooking should take about 20-25 minutes, but test the rice. If it is too hard, add more broth and cook longer. Whatever you do, don't let the rice get soggy! There will be a little bit of brothy-ness to the dish.
When the rice is the desired consistency, pull from the heat and add the butter, cheese and parsley. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.
Voila--classic Italian comfort food. Serve with a dry, minerally white or rose.