The nights are still dark and while a chill in the air remains this warning comforting bowl of green goodness is the perfect indulgent pick-me-up. It’s a recipe that needs a watchful eye, as risotto can stick if you’re not tending to it constantly, but it’s easy to make and tastes wonderful.


• 60g olive oil

• 230g petits pois, defrosted if frozen)

• 175g pancetta lardons cubed (1 cm)

• 50g red onion, finely chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 150g dry white wine

• 225 g risotto rice

• 450g chicken stock (or vegetable)

• 80g Parmesan cheese, cut in pieces

• 30g single cream

• 5 fresh mint leaves, chopped, to taste

• Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil over a medium-high heat and fry the lardons for 5-6 minutes until golden and crisp. Scoop out onto a plate.

Take 100g of petit pois and chop finely. Reduce the heat to medium, retaining the pancetta fat and oil, and toss in the chopped onion. Fry for 10-15 minutes until very soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chopped petit pois, fry for a minute more.

While the onion is cooking, tip the stock into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer, then turn down low but keep it warm.

Add the rice to the onion, chopped peas and oil until it’s coated, cook for 3 minutes in the pan, then pour in the wine. Stir until mostly absorbed, then add in stock, a ladle at a time. Keep adding stock until the rice is tender but has a little bite (around 20 minutes).

Remove the risotto from the heat and fold in the remaining peas, cream, parmesan and cooked lardons. Add salt and pepper to taste, then cover and rest for 5 minutes before serving with mint leave garnish.