Real Italian rice and peas is made like risotto using fresh pea stock, made from boiling pea pods in salted water or chicken stock, for the liquid along with pancetta for flavor. I'm sure it is Amazing--I love fresh spring peas. But, it is:
- Not Spring and
- I only own frozen peas
So, rather than making some sort of faux risi e bisi à la minute, I decided to reheat some leftover brown jasmine rice with some uncured-but-heavily-smoked bacon, onion and my frozen peas. And then, because we actually had this for breakfast, I topped it with a sunny side up fried egg. I thank my Japanese and Filipino friends for teaching me of the joy of egg+rice. Because the end of that equation is "=Amazing!"
There are no real measurements here, and of course you can add whatever sorts of vegetables that you like to the mix. You don't have to use rice, either--pasta or potatoes or any other Comforting Starch would be a nice base, but if you've not tried the egg+rice equation, you really owe it to yourself to do so.
Shortcut Risi e Bisi Breakfast
- 1/3-1/2 cup diced onion
- 3-4 strips of bacon, cut into pieces (I keep our bacon frozen and then just hack off what I need. At home, we never eat it as whole strips, so this works out nicely)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- leftover rice
- fresh or frozen peas (and/or any other veggies you want. But then you'd have to change the name from risi e bise to Something Else)
- 1 sunny side up fried egg per person, simply seasoned with salt and pepper
Fry bacon until it starts to sizzle and some of the fat renders out.
Add the onion and cook together until onion is translucent. The bacon won't really get crispy this way, but that's okay. I think in this case, the crispy would just get in the way of the Unctuous Egg+Rice Goodness).
Add the frozen peas and maybe 2T of water or so and cover the pan so the peas can thaw/cook, about 3 minutes.
You can certainly add any fresh herbs you want or season it more aggressively if you want. I just wanted simple sweet peas, smokey bacon, sweet onion and silky egg. And that's what I got. And it was good.