Riso ai carciofi, piselli, parmigiano e olio al tartufo

After a trip to Italy and France where I got to see my whole family for once, I came back really inspired.

We went to Cinque Terre (Liguria), then Tuscany (Lucca, Pisa, Firenze, San Gimignano and Pisa), then to my parents’ house situated in their little village of Isola di Fano (Marche). I am so glad that Italy unlike France is preserving its cuisine and traditions. France is being invaded by American food chains such as KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Starbucks and many others. I have seen a few McDonalds in Italy and that’s basically it. Italians like their caffe, tramezzini, panini, so Starbucks did not made it through yet. Let’s hope it will remains like this for a long time. Like in any other big city, and of course any touristy city, it’s not always easy to find good food in Florence, Siena, or even Paris, you have to know where you’re going and ask the locals for advice. The best meal I had was Da Tano in Fano (Marche) which is a fish and seafood specialty restaurant. Since Marche is not as touristy as Tuscany, you get to eat wonderful meals at an affordable price.

A few shots from Florence

A few shots from Siena

A few shots from Pisa and Lucca where it rained

Going back to my recipe, I wanted to use my beautiful artichokes in a risotto, I haven’t made a risotto in ages, and a risotto recipe is long over due, but since I had already cooked saffron rice, I decided to use it instead. I am not really a big rice eater even though I do enjoy it whenver I eat it…it’s one of those ingredients that I keep forgetting, just like potatoes.I used basmati rice, but any long grain rice would work well. Of course, a saffron risotto using arborio rice is also another great alternative.

Ingredients for 4

  • 10.60 oz (or 300 g) basmati rice or any other long grain rice
  • 1 dose of saffron
  • 20.30 fl oz (or 600 ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lb baby artichokes, cut and trimmed
  • 3 tbs dry white wine
  • 4 tbs fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 tbs freshly grated parmesan + extra for shaving
  • black truffle oil
  • salt and pepper


Steam rice with vegetable broth using a pot or a rice cooker. If using arborio rice, cook it like a risotto, adding broth and wine gradually until absorption of the liquid.

In a pan, heat olive oil, add garlic, stir. Add artichokes, salt pepper and wine. Cover and let cook at medium heat until artichokes are tender but still firm. Add peas, cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes. When the rice is cooked add artichoke/peas mixture. Stir parmesan cheese and mix carefully.

Divide in dishes and top it with shaved parmesan, sprinkle some truffle oil and black pepper.