Risoni with Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, Bacon & Salted Ricotta
This recipe was really easy-peasy to prepare... and yet it wasn't "risi-bisi", the traditional Italian rice and pea dish- it was a slightly more complex and yet infinitely more delicious affair than that! Even if I do say so myself!
Using simple, everyday ingredients, this humble dish turned out to be anything but that... Easy enough to make for yourself, but definitely delicious enough to be worth sharing!
Starting any dish with bacon and onion (or shallot in this case), is already going to be a guarantee for great flavor... So the sweet fresh peas, tangy and fruity tomatoes and salty ricotta cheese only go to make things better still...
And you won't believe how easy this is to make! Just keep clicking through the pictures... Because seeing is believing!
A cup of finely chopped bacon, 1 shallot, 2 cups of fresh peas, 6-7 cherry tomatoes, plenty of fresh parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil are all you are going to need to add to 2 cups of risoni noodles, to make a wonderfully rich single serving. So I will trust you to be able to figure out the math to make more if you need to!
And of course, a dusting of salted ricotta (my favorite!) is always going to give that extra kick and to add a richness and creaminess to any pasta dish! It's what we love the most down in Sicily!
Start off by frying the finely chopped bacon and shallot together for 3-4 minutes, until the shallot becomes translucent and then add the peas. Stir-fry together for 3-4 minutes and boil yourself a pot of water, ready to add in just a few minutes.
Next, add the risoni and stir them in, so that they soak up the bacon and of course all of the good flavors too.
Now, deglaze the pan with boiling water and add enough of it to cover the risoni well.
Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally and adding water, a bit at a time, in a similar way that you would a risotto... Only this is a lot less tricky and labor intensive! Yay!
Whilst the pasta simmers away, in a smaller frying pan, begin to fry the halved cherry tomatoes, seasoned with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Fry them with the cut surface facing upwards at first, let them simmer in a little olive oil and only flip them overafter 3-4 minutes to get slightly caramelized.
The risoni will take quite a while... Probably up to 15 minutes, to cook... But that's ok- those fresh peas will do too! But the result will be worth it! I use a frying pan for the sake of speed when preparing 1-2 servings and I recommend you do too... But of course if you are making a larger quantity, a deep saucepan is fine too.
Once the noodles are nice and tender, add plenty of finely chopped parsley and a splash of olive oil and get ready to serve!
Add the cherry tomatoes on top and a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley and black pepper... And of course that salted ricotta!
So simple, so rich and such a delicious treat! You should try making this too! For real!