My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Italian Rice & Peas (Risi e Bisi)

Italian Rice & Peas (Risi e Bisi). My friend Judi and I were talking one afternoon and she mentioned she loved an Italian dish that was made with rice & peas that she enjoyed while vacationing in Italy. I thought it would be nice to surprise her with a recipe for it. I searched the internet and really couldn't find any good I contacted some family members that vacation in Italy often and they shared their recipe with me. (I am not sure if it is the EXACT recipe that Judi enjoyed on her trip but I am attempting to surprise her with this dish! I know that different regions and families make things slightly different but I am hoping that this recipe is what she is looking for!)

I had to do some conversions because the recipe was given to me in grams. Although this may not be the exact recipe that she enjoyed...I think she will like it very much! My husband and I thought it was DELICIOUS and since it was already gluten free...I didn't have to tweak it at all! (I LOVE THOSE TYPE OF RECIPES! No special ingredients to purchase!) I think this recipe will become a family favorite! It makes a great side dish for any meal. (I will have to consider making this dish for Thanksgiving!) This particular recipe contains prosciutto or bacon but if you are a vegetarian, just leave it out. I also used a tablespoon of real butter but if you have issues with dairy then just substitute olive oil.

Risi e Bisi Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice (I am not sure how this would turn out with a different type of rice or with a quick cooking rice. Since the recipe called for Arborio, I didn't want to substitute on my first try! Arborio rice is a short grain rice which I really like!)
  • 2 cups of sweet peas (I used petite frozen peas from Trader Joe's)
  • 3 strips of bacon or prosciutto (I used prosciutto today), optional
  • 1/4 cup of minced onion
  • 1/4 cup real butter (or substitute olive oil). I would avoid margarine in this recipe. You want to get a rich flavor that only butter or olive oil will provide!
  • 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (you can always add more if you want. I only used 1/4 cup because I didn't want the cheese to overpower the overall flavor of the dish)
  • salt & pepper to taste, optional ( I actually didn't need to add any salt or pepper to mine. The prosciutto and the cheese were salty enough for me)
  • minced parsley, optional for garnish. (I didn't add it because I didn't have it on hand and didn't feel like running out to the store just for this. The dish was pretty enough on it's own!)
  • 1 tbs. of real butter or olive oil (this helps the cheese stick to the rice after cooking)
Brown the prosciutto or bacon and onion in the 1/4 cup of butter or olive oil. When the meat is brown, then add 4 cups of broth and cook until boiling. Add the rice. Turn stove temperature down to low and simmer. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking. Gradually add the remaining broth and cook until rice is al dente. Add the peas and cook an extra 2 minutes or until peas are warm but not mushy. Add the 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil and sprinkle on cheese. Stir & serve. Garnish with parsley if desired. 

I love that this recipe was easy to make and other than the time it took to simmer on the didn't take long at all. The flavors were soft and not overpowering but it left a nice rich flavor on the tongue. It made me feel like I was in Europe again! The Europeans have a way of making dishes taste absolutely delicious with just simple ingredients! I would rather have a smaller portion of something that is savory and enjoyable than a "low fat" version of something that just doesn't tickle the taste buds. Life is like you are on vacation! :)

Enjoy your day!
Gluten Free Casually

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