1.5 litres simmering
light vegetable stock
300g peas, defrosted
if frozen
1 tbsp olive oil
150g pancetta cubes
25g butter
1 small onion, very
finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely
300g arborio rice
200ml white wine
200g fine asparagus,
cut into bite-size
50g Pecorino cheese,
finely grated
Fresh pea shoots
Drizzle of chilli oil
(if wanted)


1. Place half the peas in a food processor along with a ladleful of stock and pulse to a rough purée. Set to one side. Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan, add the pancetta and cook for 3 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set to one side.

2. Add the butter to the pan and stir in the onion and garlic. Cook very gently for 15 minutes until perfectly softened and light golden. Add the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until coated in butter.

3. Add the wine, bubble rapidly until cooked off and then add a couple of ladlefuls of stock. Stir and gently simmer until absorbed. Repeat, adding more stock a few ladles at a time and stirring as you go – this should take about 20 minutes.

4. Stir the pea purée, the rest of the peas and the asparagus into the risotto and gently cook for another 3 minutes, adding stock or boiling water as necessary. Stir in the pancetta, cover and allow to stand for 3 minutes. To serve, stir in half the Pecorino and spoon into warmed, shallow bowls. Scatter with the pea shoots, drizzle with the oil, if desired, and serve with the remaining cheese.

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