Rice with Fresh Spring
8 cups (2 quarts) Chicken Broth
2 pounds fresh peas, shelled, pods reserved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
One 2-ounce slice Prosciutto di Parma, minced
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Vialone Nano rice
1/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano, plus extra for passing at the table
Place the broth and reserved pea pods in a 4-quart pot. Bring to a boil and
simmer 2 hours, uncovered. Strain. Reserve the broth and discard the pea pods.
Measure 5 cups of the broth, adding water to make up the quantity if needed,
and heat to just below the boiling point in a clean 2-quart pot.
Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch sauté pan
over a medium flame. Add the scallion, Prosciutto, and parsley and cook 5 minutes.
Stir in the peas and 1 cup of the measured broth, season with the salt and
pepper, and cook 10 minutes, uncovered. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring
with a wooden spoon.
Begin adding the measured broth by the 1/2 cup, stirring all the while;
add more broth only when the previous portion has been absorbed. Cook until
the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes, adding broth and stirring all the while.
Fold in any remaining broth, the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and the
Grana; the rice will be soupy. Serve hot, passing additional Grana at the table.
(Micol Negrin, Rustico Regional Italian Country