Spring Pea Truffle Risotto is a quick and easy weeknight meal using ingredients straight from the pantry plus a little something special. Ready in under an hour.
Rice is versatile, economical, and nutritious. It is eaten around the world in various applications from sweet to savoury. This starchy cereal grain, along with cream and sugar, becomes a comforting Old Fashioned Rice Pudding. It is also a key ingredient for many Asian dishes including Beef Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl). Type ‘risotto’ in the search field to find more great risotto recipes on this blog.
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Spring Pea Truffle Risotto
A bowl of Spring Pea Truffle Risotto is a bowl of pure comfort. The tender rice and creamy sauce make the perfect canvas for sweet peas and earthy truffle. Finally, the white wine and Grana Padano offer a hint of sharpness, cutting through the rich sauce.
Risotto is a basic Italian dish that everyone should know how to cook. The technique is simple, yet exact which sometimes leads home cooks to avoid it altogether. I believe very strongly that, armed with a few tips and tricks, anyone can learn to make a great risotto.
Spring Pea Black Truffle Risotto is a great ‘starter’ risotto. It starts with the basic risotto technique and finishes with the decadent flavour of truffles. The ingredients (other than the truffle) are ordinary, yet they simmer together slowly to become the extraordinary.
If truffles, or their less expensive counterparts are not available, you can still make a decadent mushroom risotto by adding a variety of sautéed mushrooms to the finished risotto.
What is Risotto?
Who knew rice could be so decadent? The Italians, that’s who! They are experts at la cucina povera which means ‘poor kitchen’. In this cucina povera recipe, an ordinary inexpensive ingredient becomes pure decadence due to the technique in which it is cooked.
Risotto is essentially a creamy savoury rice porridge. The unique cooking method requires attention but is quite simple in technique. Water or stock is added to the rice in increments. As the rice cooks, the heat and stirring technique releases starches that become part of the dish, adding a creamy, yet saucy texture.
Though rice was introduced to Italy by the Arabs through Sicily, it is mainly grown in Northern Italy. So, risotto was primarily a Northern Italian dish, now eaten throughout the country and around the world. In Italy, risotto is served as the first course before the mains, but in North America it can be a main or side dish.
Ingredients for Spring Pea Truffle Risotto
This Spring Pea and Truffle risotto recipe contains the basic ingredients for any risotto, plus the extra decadence of truffle. A full summer or winter truffle is not required as there are many ways to add truffle flavour to this dish.
- Olive Oil
- White Wine
- Salt and Pepper
- Grana Padano
The first five ingredients form the basis of any risotto. Sometimes butter is used in place of the olive oil but the other four ingredients remain the pillars of this dish.
It is best to use a quality white wine, one that you also enjoy drinking. After all, you really only need one glass for the risotto, the rest is for you while you make the risotto! I recommend a dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or even an unoaked Chardonnay.
Try to use a high quality chicken or vegetable stock. It will reflect in the final quality and flavour of your dish.
Use Grana Padano, Parmesan Reggiano, or a combination of both cheeses. Stir Grana Padano into the hot risotto and finish with Parmesan Reggiano. You could also use Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or Piave.
A truffle is an edible fungal spore that grows underground near tree roots. They are a gourmet delicacy due to how difficult they are to harvest and how quickly they lose potency once harvested. At one time, truffles grew in specific areas but they are now a lucrative cash crop cultivated and harvested worldwide.
There are several ways to add truffle flavour to this risotto. The first (and most expensive) option is to source a white truffle in season. White truffles are prized for their potency and are rarer than black truffles.
Black truffles are a less aromatic but a little easier to source. To simplify, they come in two varieties. Winter Truffles (or Périgord Truffle) grow in in Italy, Spain, and France and are available from November to March, peaking in January and February.
The Summer Black Truffle looks similar its winter counterpart and is fragrant, but more subtle than a white truffle. They are available, weather depending, from May to the end of August.
If you cannot source a fresh truffle, I highly recommend dried truffle powder or high quality black or white truffle oil. Carefully read the labels to be sure the product contains real truffle and not a synthetic replication.
Which Rice is Best for Risotto?
There are several acceptable varieties of rice used to make risotto. It is important to source a high starch short grain rice which absorbs liquid while also releasing plenty of starch.
The most popular (and most expensive) varieties are Carnaroli and Vialone Nano but Maratelli, Baldo, Padano, Roma, and Arborio rice varieties are also used.
How to Make Truffle Risotto
Begin by heating a couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or butter) in a saucepan. Sauté the onions until they become soft and translucent. Next, add the carnaroli rice to the pan. Stir until all the rice is coated with oil and the rice is warmed up.
Add the wine and allow the alcohol to cook away as it absorbs into the rice Next, add 1 cup of hot stock to the pot so that the rice is just covered. Stir frequently and allow the stock simmer slowly away on low/medium heat until most of the stock becomes absorbed.
Add another 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice and continue to cook stirring, and adding stock as it becomes absorbed. Once half of the liquid is absorbed, test a grain of rice. If it is still hard and a bit chalky, add more stock and simmer.
Test intermittently until the grains of rice are uniformly tender and still al dente, yet not chalky. They should be individual, but also part of the whole dish, meaning you should have some stock left so that it makes its own sauce.
How to Finish the Risotto
Before your last stock addition, add the frozen peas. As your risotto has reached the preferred texture, remove from heat and stir in the grana padano. Add truffle powder, a drizzle of truffle oil, or shave fresh truffles over the plate (if using). Serve with more cheese.
If you make this Spring Pea Truffle Risotto recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 medium onion; finely diced
- 1 1/4 cups carnaroli rice
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock (VEGAN- veggie stock)
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1/2 cup grana padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano; finely grated (VEGAN- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes)
- dehydrated truffle powder
- high quality truffle oil
- small winter truffle or summer black truffle (optional)
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions until they become soft and translucent.
- Add the carnaroli to the pan. Stir until all the rice is coated with oil and the rice is warmed up.
- Next, add the white wine and allow the alcohol to cook away as it absorbs into the rice,
- Add 1 cup of hot stock to the pot so that the rice is just covered. Stir.
- Allow the stock simmer slowly away (with intermittent stirring) on low/medium heat until the rice is mostly dry. Add another 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice.
- Continue to simmer, stir and add stock. Once half of the stock has been absorbed, test a grain of rice. If it is still hard and a bit chalky, add more stock and simmer. Test intermittently until the grains of rice are uniformly tender, yet not overly soft. They should be individual, but also part of the whole dish, meaning you should have some stock left so that it makes it’s own sauce.
- Before your last stock addition, add the frozen peas.
- As your risotto has reached the preferred texture, remove from heat and stir in the Grana Padano.
- Add truffle powder, a drizzle of truffle oil, or shave fresh truffles over the plate (if using). Serve with more cheese.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 858mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 17g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.