Where Can I Turn for Peas and Proscuitto Risotto?

original piece: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisphin/3736583070/in/photolist-6GbXY3-75WMkN-4D73Rr-5jPEba-318LhH-armCMS-dXySzR-8a2Qz9-dnMx3-4YmL48-dpq6S-pshfT-mbVgS-61fhv1-31dix3-25FGyG-4XcJCX-DPG1c-92rFSj-fydjyT-76qTsB-KzrLc-7iNUHZ-4fx3PQ-HsVJq-61nnBw-9ay6HA-61nmij-2DtYmT-69Wn7A-61nj2d-7CX9JC-7CX9YJ-7CTjNF-4Z5K9t-a3Gt4M-2Cmbuc-JNpg6-4Xta12-frJFgH-kjGMb5-5efCmL-84vwYj-84vy83-81JJLe-bynG3T-b9D5XP-58vbKs-pxoFv-9YQay6/ license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Jeff’s Risotto from Flickr

When a friend is going through a hard time and they don’t live near me, my heart aches because the primary way I show love in times of sorrow is bringing food that I have carefully considered (will she like these flavors? does he have any allergies? how will this be warmed up the next day?) and then created.

Sadness hits so often unexpectedly and while there is usually little more I can do than witness someone’s pain, it feels good to pull out my sturdy cast iron skillet and get to work. This helps me feel better and find simple pleasures in the aspects of the recipe I make. My favorite parts of this recipe are the title, the lemon zest, and the chicken stock–a recipe from a dear friend.

But what to do when you can’t email risotto? How do you help loved ones going through hard times when the are near or far from you?

Where Can I Turn For Peas and Prosciutto Risotto
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook (2005)

5 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cups finely chopped onion
1 ½ Cups (10 ounces) Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine or chicken stock
2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for serving


Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan; reduce heat, cover, and keep at a bare simmer.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3 to 4 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add wine to rice, bring to a simmer, and continue to simmer, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add 1 cup stock and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed before adding more stock. Continue cooking rice until it is tender and creamy-looking, but still al dente, 18-20 minutes (there will probably be leftover stock).

Stir in peas, prosciutto, lemon zest, cheese, remaining 2 tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, thin risotto with some of the remaining stock. Serve immediately, with additional cheese.


EmilyCC lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She currently serves as a stake Just Serve specialists, and she recently returned to school to become a nurse. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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4 Responses

  1. Kathy says:

    I have a cousin who has long-distance comfort figured out. A few weeks after I moved out of state, I got a package in the mail full of funny notes and little treats. Nothing big for her, but as lonely as I was in those first weeks, it felt huge to me. I’m finding more often that any gesture, whether it’s the best one or not, is usually appreciated.

    Thanks for the recipe (and the pun). I’ll put this on my list of meals to try out.

  2. spunky says:

    I’m so excited to try this recipe!

    It’s amazing how small and simpke things make such a huge difference. I still remember the visiting teacher who brought a homemade Chilean casserole when I was sick– it was a dish traditional for healing, in the same frame as chicken soup. It was delicious, and one of the most endearing memories I have from that time in my life.

  3. Em says:

    I love a good pun based recipe. Two of my favorite pies: Obama pie (Yes PeCan!) and Khruschev Pie (We will berry you!) Good food is always improved with a hint of humor. I would make this but I currently live in a level of squalor and overwhelmedness that makes a recipe for cereal far more attainable.

  4. Kirsten says:

    I’ve often created quilts for friends when they’re struggling with something. I fill every stitch with love and concern– it’s like giving them a warm hug from miles away.

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