This is one of my very favourite things to do with peas. It’s wonderfully easy as you typically treat it like a soup rather than a risotto…happily very little stirring is required. It’s very low maintenance but still manages to hit the spot every time.
Some people say this should be 50/50 pea to rice so if you have plenty of peas around, try it! If you don’t have fresh peas to hand, don’t worry, use frozen peas and use veg or chicken stock instead of making your own pea stock.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
600g fresh peas or 450g frozen peas
2 celery sticks, 1 chopped, the other for the stock
1.25L water or 1L veg or chicken stock
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to serve
3 large spring onions or 1 large brown onion, chopped
200g risotto rice, arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano
2 big handfuls of mint, chopped
Parmesan, to serve (or a vegetarian-friendly cheese)
If using fresh peas, pod them and place the pods in a deep pan to make a quick pea stock. Throw in a stick of celery, pour over the water (or enough, to cover) and bring to a quick simmer while you get on with everything else. Otherwise, if using frozen peas, skip this and warm up your veg or chicken stock.
Warm the olive oil over a medium heat in a wide pan. Add the chopped celery and the onions and a pinch of salt and fry for 10 minutes until soft but not coloured.
Add the risotto rice and fry until it begins to turn translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Drain the pea stock, discard the pea pods and add the stock in about 3 separate additions (now’s the time to add any parmesan rinds you might have too). Stir occasionally between additions but not as much as you would with regular risotto.
Add the peas roughly halfway through cooking, after about 10 minutes. Keep simmering until the rice is tender and it has a lovely soupy texture (you may need to add more liquid). Season to taste, stir in the mint and serve with plenty of grated parmesan and a little drizzle of olive oil.