|Risi e bisi (Peas and rice)|
|The traditional dish for the feast-day of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice, is the soup called "Risi e bisi". This is a soup made of rice and peas, therefore it must be quite creamy.|
• 1 lb (450 g) Rice, clean but not washed;
• 2 lb 10 oz (1200 g) Fresh peas;
• 3 1/2 oz (100 g) Fresh bacon, cut into tiny pieces;
• 2 oz (50 g) Butter;
• 1 Fresh onion, thinly sliced;
• A bunch of parsley, chopped;
• 1 1/2 oz (40 g) Parmesan cheese, grated;
• About 1 liter of meat stock;
• Salt and pepper
Put the bacon, onion and parsley in a saucepan and sauté slightly. Add the shelled and washed peas, the butter and some stock. Bring to the boil and simmer, gradually adding some tablespoons of stock to prevent the pan from boiling dry. After about fifteen minutes, add the rice and continue stirring until cooked, making sure that it remains creamy. A few minutes before removing from the heat, add the cheese and stir well. Serve very hot.
The sweet, tasty peas grow on the islands, but sometimes they are not ready by April 23, St. Mark’s Day; therefore tradition dictated that the peas used for the Doge’s banquet should come from Lumigano and Custozza, small towns in the Berici hills around Vicenza where the peas grow large and very sweet in the gentle warmth of the Berici Riviera. The peas were loaded into baskets and brought to the shores of the Lagoon and to Venice on the back of a mule or donkey.
Feb 6 06