Risotto with Peas, Marjoram, and Asiago


Fresh peas provide contrasting color, a gentle pop when bitten, and summery flavor when added to traditional risotto. The dish is made with Arborio rice, chicken stock, fresh marjoram, and Asiago cheese.


  • 6 to 8 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 shallots, minced

  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 1 ½ pounds garden peas, shelled (1 ½ cups)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese (about 4 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh marjoram leaves, plus several sprigs for garnish

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat, and keep at a low simmer.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavybottom saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring frequently, until it is thoroughly coated and slightly fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until it is completely absorbed.

  3. Using a ladle, add 3/4 cup hot stock to rice mixture; stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it is thick enough to leave a clear wake behind the spoon.

  4. Continue adding stock 3/4 cup at time, stirring constantly after each addition, until rice is mostly translucent but still opaque in the center and liquid is the consistency of heavy cream, a total of 18 to 20 minutes; the mixture will continue to thicken slightly when removed from heat. About 12 minutes into cooking, stir in peas. Watch carefully, adding smaller amounts of liquid if necessary to make sure it does not overcook. The rice should be al dente but no longer crunchy, and the peas tender and bright green.

  5. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, cheese, and chopped marjoram, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with marjoram sprigs.

Cook's Notes

Perfect risotto is easy to make; the key is to be sure the stock is fully incorporated after each addition and to avoid overcooking the rice. If you prefer, you may use Parmesan instead of Asiago cheese in this recipe.

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