Broad Bean and English Pea Risotto with Fresh Basil

5:11 am on 29 September 2009

I am picking broad beans from my garden at the moment. They are one of my favourite spring vegetables: struggling through the winter to reward you in the spring. Both their flowers and leaves are edible and can be used to scatter over the top of the risotto.

(Serves 6)


  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 75ml mascarpone
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400gms risotto rice
  • 1 to 1.5 litres boiling chicken stock
  • 400 gms fresh shelled board beans and peas
  • 75 gms parmesan freshly grated
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt
  • ½ bunch basil, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat, add onion and garlic, cook for five to 8 minutes.

Add rice and stir until rice is coated with oil.

Reduce the heat, add 250mls to 1 cup of the boiling stock and stir briefly.

Allow rice to cook and the stock to be completely absorbed by the rice before adding another 250mls of stock.

Stir again; continue adding the stock and cooking until rice is almost cooked about 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir frequently.

Wash and shell the broad beans and peas, blanch in boiling salted water and remove the outer grey skin from the broad beans.

Add beans to the risotto, the heat from the rice will cook the peas.

Fold in parmesan and butter and season with salt and pepper.

Stir through the mascarpone, basil and lemon juice.

Serve immediately into hot bowls.

Peters Notes

1. Use this recipe as a base to which you can add your favourite ingredients.

2. Saute some pancetta until crisp and scatter over risotto before serving.

3. Serve with scallops and a little arugula salad.

Suggested wines to complement this recipe

Alpha Domus AD 2004
Peter Lehmann Barossa 2006

Cypress Terraces 2008

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