cheese | italian | meals | peas | recipe | risotto | vegetables | white wine

Spring risotto with peas (& zucchini).

February 8, 2009

Risotto is one of my favorite things to make. Its easy, fairly quick, and its a one-pot creation. A lot of people are intimidated by it.. but its nothing to fear. Its easier than you think. Its true; you have to keep an eye on it, and stir it frequently, but if you stir it too much it gets gluey anyway so its better to have a slightly more laissez-faire attitude with it. Risotto is another impressive dish that is deceptively simple. I make parmesan risotto all the time, and in the winter I make risotto col vino too. But this is a nice alternative. Risotto with peas and zucchini, to remind us that spring is indeed around the corner. I omitted the zucchini, I didn’t have any anyway. But I’m listing the recipe in its entirety.

For this recipe you can substitute a half cup more of broth instead of the white wine if you wish. Use frozen peas for this- canned peas are too soggy. You want a fresh taste, not a soggy canned taste. Traditionally risotto is a side dish, but I find it works well as a light meal. Adding some cooked shrimp when its done is also a great meal idea.



  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 to 2 large zucchini (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese


  1. Heat broth in a small saucepan over low heat; keep warm. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until zucchini is golden, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer zucchini to a plate.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Raise heat to medium. Add rice; cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  3. Cook, adding 1 cup hot broth at a time (stir until almost all liquid is absorbed before adding more), until rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes total.
  4. Add zucchini and peas; cook until peas are bright green, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining tablespoon butter and Parmesan. Serve, topped with more cheese.

I like to serve it in bowls with big hunks of crusty bread. Enjoy!

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  1. Mmmm, risotto…definitely my new favorite food! I was heartbroken when I didn’t have enough wine to make it last week and had to settle for roasted vegetables. I think I need to get more wine, that looks so good.

  2. Its so good, isn’t it? I make sure now that I always have wine in the house to use for this, because I’ve been there. It sucks when you really want it and look forward to it and then can’t make it. Although using the extra broth is an alternative, I still prefer the taste the wine gives it.

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