Monday, February 18, 2013

Spinach, Pea, and Mint Risotto

Risotto is a very versatile dish, and we like it a lot. When I say I'm going to make risotto, everyone seems to perk up and listen. I make a lot of different varieties of risotto, depending on what I have in my refrigerator at the time. This risotto was simply a way to use up what was left of a bag of frozen peas, some fresh spinach, and a few leaves of fresh mint.

The key to good risotto is the rice. Any short to medium grain rice can be used, but I prefer the rice originally used by the Italians. Arborio rice is raised in the Po River valley in Italy, and the short grains of this rice have the right amount of starch to create a very smooth and creamy risotto. Constant stirring helps to release this starch into the liquid, creating a thick "sauce" for the rice.

Once the rice has been cooked, the flavorings are added to finish the dish. I used leftover peas, spinach, and mint, but you can add whatever flavors you like. Maybe some leftover shredded chicken and green beans, or some sauteed mushrooms and leftover steak. Hmmmm.....that sounds pretty good.  Think I need to go make some more risotto.

Spinach, Pea, and Mint Risotto

3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/3 cup ricotta
2 cups fresh spinach, shredded
1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Warm chicken stock in medium saucepan just to a simmer. Meanwhile, in large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add rice, stirring to coat rice with oil and cook two minutes.

Deglaze pan with wine. Reduce heat and simmer until is reduced down to nearly gone. Transfer one cup stock to pan with rice. Cook and stir continuously until liquid is absorbed enough to draw spoon across bottom of pan and leave clear spot on bottom of pan.

Continue transferring stock 1/2 cup at a time. Stir continuously, waiting until each addition is completely absorbed before adding the next. Add peas with last addition of stock.

When last of stock is absorbed, stir in ricotta. Remove from heat and carefully stir in spinach and mint until spinach is wilted. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


  1. Pea risotto is a favorite of mine. Will definitely have to try your recipe. :-)

  2. I love making and eating risotto. I haven't made any for a long while, going to have to put risotto rice on the shopping list.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing. I'd love to have you come link this up to our Teach Me Tuesday Linky - it's brand new and in need of creative contributions!

  4. Looks good! I love cooking!


  5. ooo never made risotto before, but this looks yummy! I came over from TT&J. Would love for you to come over and check out my blog...
    Emily @

  6. I love risotto - yours looks so nice and creamy


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