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Alternative To Peas In Pasta Risotto

Asked by Flanders. Answered on 12th May 2021

Full question

I'd love to make the Pasta Risotto, but live in a house full of "pea-haters" and would dearly love some some good suggestions as to alternatives - would frozen baby beans work? Any help appreciated!

Image of Nigella's Pasta Risotto with Peas and Pancetta
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Pasta Risotto With Peas & Pancetta
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Pasta Risotto With Peas And Pancetta (from NIGELLISSIMA) is a quick and easy one-pan supper. The risotto is made using orzo pasta and the pasta is cooked until the water has been completely absorbed. The peas cook at the same time as the pasta.

It is quite tricky to find a good alternative to the sweetness of peas, which balance the salty pancetta and Parmesan. If it is for children then frozen sweetcorn (corn kernels) may be the easiest alternative, though overall the dish will taste sweeter than if using peas. Broad beans (with the skins removed) are a more labour-intense alternative and shelled edamame beans could be another possibility. Both of these lack the sweetness of peas, so if used we would suggest being very careful about the amount of salt added at step 3. You can always taste and adjust the seasoning again just before serving.

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