Venetian Rice and Peas

While I don’t like peas, the rest of this sounds delicious. Did you know that simmering your dry rice in oil prior to adding your liquid “opens” the rice and allows it to absorb the liquid you add? I learned this from a friend who cooked rice nearly every day. It allows the rice to better absorb the flavors of what you are adding and as I’ve been told, makes the dish more flavorful. I think I’d also use Arborio or similar medium grain rice. You don’t want a long grain like Basmati.

Venetian Rice & Peas

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 cup butter in a heavy kettle and in it brown 1 small onion, chopped, and 1/2 slice of bacon, cut in dice, or about 1 tablespoon. Add 2 cups freshly shelled green peas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 3/4 cup rice and cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring often, until the grains are well coated with oil and butter. Add 1 34/ cups chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste, cover the kettle, and cook the mixture over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. The rice should absorb all the liquid and it should be tender but not mushy. Toss with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan. More cheese may be sprinkled on the individual servings, if desired.

From Samuel Chamberlain’s Italian Bouquet

Published by the gourmet Distributing Corporation

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