Pressure cooker, Side dish
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Instant Pot Venetian Peas and Rice (Risi e Bisi)

A bowl of rice and peas with more peas and a bag of vialone nano rice in the background
Instant Pot Venetian Peas and Rice (Risi e Bisi)

Instant Pot Venetian Peas and Rice. Risi e Bisi in the pressure cooker.

It’s time for a spring risotto – or as close as you can get to a risotto without actually calling it a risotto. Risi e Bisi is traditionally served on April 25th in Venice to celebrate the Festival of St. Mark. (Have you seen St. Mark’s cathedral in Venice? The Venetians celebrated St. Mark a LOT.) The legend is that the Doge of Venice would use the first shipment of fresh spring peas to honor Venice’s patron saint.

I’m using my pressure cooker risotto technique with this recipe. Risotto is one of pressure cooker’s best techniques, replacing 30 minutes of stirring and adding broth with 5 minutes under pressure. Pressure cooking brings out the starch in the rice without needing to stir. I use Vialone Nano rice in my risi e bisi, because it is grown in the rice belt near Venice. But any good risotto rice, like Arborio or Carnaroli, will work.

Unless you have the absolute freshest of peas, you’re better off with frozen. Picked peas are amazing straight off the vine, but they get starchy and dense pretty quickly. If you have truly fresh peas, go ahead and use them in this recipe (shell them and blanch them to fix the green color, then mix them in where the frozen peas are used.) Frozen peas are picked, cooked, and immediately frozen, stopping the starch conversion and giving us good peas year round.

Recipe: Instant Pot Venetian Peas and Rice (Risi e Bisi)

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A bowl of rice and peas with more peas and a bag of vialone nano rice in the background

Instant Pot Venetian Peas and Rice (Risi e Bisi)


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups of rice 1x

Description

Instant Pot Venetian Peas and Rice. Risi e Bisi in the pressure cooker.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 2 cups Italian medium grain rice (Vialone Nano is traditional, Arborio or Carnaroli are also good choices)
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable broth (or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (½ teaspoon if using store-bought low-sodium broth)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
  • 6 ounces petite frozen peas (about 1 ½ cups by volume), rinsed to remove any ice
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated pecorino romano cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Sauté the onion and rice: Melt the butter in an Instant Pot set to sauté mode (medium heat in a pressure cooker). Add the onion and pancetta and sauté until the onion softens and the pancetta starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking, until it the rice turns translucent at the edges, about 5 more minutes.
  2. Pressure Cook the risotto for 5 minutes with a Quick Release: Stir in the vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon salt. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes for both electric pressure cookers and stovetop pressure cookers (Use Manual or Pressure Cook mode for an Instant Pot). Quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the scalding hot steam.
  3. Stir in butter and steam the peas: Leave the pot in keep warm mode (or put a stovetop pressure cooker over low heat.) Stir the butter and frozen peas into the rice. Cover the pot (but don’t lock the lid) and let the residual heat steam the peas tips until they are heated through, about five minutes. Add the (optional) grated cheese, and stir the cheese into the rice. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Want a vegetarian version of this recipe? Skip the pancetta, and use a medium onion.

If you use store-bought broth, watch out for high-sodium vegetable broth. It’s very salty. Skip the salt that goes into the pot with the broth…and probably the grated cheese, too.

Fresh peas: If you have fresh spring peas available, you can substitute them for the frozen peas. Shell them, blanch them in boiling water, and add them when the recipe calls for the frozen peas.

I had to make the cheese optional – my kids won’t eat risotto with cheese in it for some reason – but it is a nice touch.

Tools

6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Flat edged wooden spoon

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Instant Pot Venetian Peas and Rice (Risi e Bisi), Pressure Cooker Venetian Peas and Rice (Risi e Bisi)

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Risotto Milanese (Risotto alla Milanese)
Instant Pot Risotto with Pork and Cinnamon (Risotto All’Isolana)
Pressure Cooker Asparagus Risotto
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish

by

Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

2 Comments

  1. Lukas says

    I’ve made a few risotto’s in the Insta pot but I swear none of been as good as this.
    Of course I didn’t follow the original recipe.
    Used sushi rice. I find it less expensive than Italian, but just as short and creamy as aborio. Check it out!

    Half the rice, half the chicken stock(from your chicken stock recipie from leftover roasted chicken), full amount pancetta full amount peas and onion, why not!.
    So good
    Your my go to when I look at ip recipies. Thanx.

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