"Rixi and bixi" is a classic dish of Venetian (and Venetian) cuisine. It is neither a risotto, nor a soup, but a middle ground. It is the classic dish found on the tables of the Venetians and the "campagnoli" (who lives after the Liberty bridge) and which has been handed down from generation to generation.
Spring dish par excellence, its main characteristic is that the broth is made with the pods of the first peas of the season, tender and sweet. While the rice used is (or should be, philological) the Vialone Nano.
Historically it was the dish that was served to the Doge on the day of San Marco, or on April 25 (yes, here in Venice the patron and the Liberation Day coincide), but there are those who trace its origins in Byzantine cuisine, thanks to commercial relations and exchanges. Even today it belongs as a dish to other culinary traditions, such as the Croatian one.
The original recipe calls for the use of meat (here
you can read it), here I will propose a completely vegetable version with a small variant: the use of fresh mint, which in my opinion goes well with this dish.
Ingredients for 4
320 gr of rice
4 handfuls of peas (with the pod)
since with the pod we will make the broth, better that they have been cultivated in a natural way.
2 spring onions
1 branch of fresh mint
extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper
Rinse the peas, peel them and set aside the peels that are younger and tender (about 10-12 are enough). Put the remaining skins in a pan with plenty of lightly salted water and the green parts of the spring onions. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 '(it is more than enough for our broth).
Traditionally it would be necessary to either pass the pods to the vegetable mill, remove the filamentous part and put the puree thus obtained in the broth. If you have limited time, you can use the broth from the pods directly and retrieve the latter to flavor the pasta sauce the next day.
Chop the white part of the spring onions and the garlic cloves. Cut the young pods you had set aside very thinly. Put them in a pot together with the spring onions and fry them for a couple of minutes, add the peas and rice, mix well and proceed adding the broth, (to orientate on the quantities, the broth must be a little more than double the rice and peas you have in the pot) until the rice is cooked (it will take about 20-22 ').
The rice will therefore not be cooked with the Lombard style risotto method but, rather, by absorption. However, having put a little more than the necessary broth, it will be soft and slightly liquid.
Wash and chop the mint.
When cooked, stir in 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, pepper and fresh mint, which you will also use in part to garnish the dish.
Serve hot or at room temperature.