The finished pea and mint risotto. Photo: CC-chrisphin
Risotto is a classic Italian starter open to endless variation. Whether you go sweet or savory, a creamy base is a must. Stick with Arborio rice if possible, though most short or medium grain varieties will do in a pinch. The key is not to over-stir as you add the broth—trust the rice! In this recipe, a great balance is born between the salty cheese and zesty, fresh mint.

Ingredients:
1½ cups Arborio rice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat broth in a small saucepan over stovetop until warm but not boiled.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium pan. Cook onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook for about 2 minutes until well-coated with butter.

Add wine and cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.

Ladle ½ cup of warmed broth into rice mixture until absorbed. Repeat ½ cup at a time until rice is cooked but still firm, about 25 minutes total. Reheat broth if necessary.

Fold in peas and remove from heat. Add cheese and mint. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

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