Tuscan Sun Recipes

Exclusive recipes from the Tuscan Sun cookbook.

By Frances & Edward Mayes


Risotto Primavera

  • 3 pounds shelled fresh peas
  • 1 bunch of slender carrots, peeled
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, plus additional to taste
  • 51/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups (1 pound) uncooked Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Season all of the vegetables with salt and pepper. Briefly steam the peas. If not slender, cut the carrots into pieces about the same size as the asparagus stems. Cook the carrots until barely done. Break the asparagus stalks just where they naturally snap and steam or roast them. The vegetables should remain crisp.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the stock and wine to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. In a heavy 6-quart pot, sauté the rice and onion in the olive oil for a couple of minutes over medium heat, stirring to coat and brown the rice. Add 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and gradually ladle in the stock (about 1 to 2 ladles at a time) as the rice absorbs the liquid. Keep stirring and ladling in more liquid until the rice is done, about 20 minutes. Some prefer their risotto almost soupy, but for this dish it is better moist and almost al dente.

3. Remove from the heat, add the zest and lemon juice, stir in the cheese, and season to taste. Serve the rice immediately in large shallow bowls with the vegetables surrounding the rice.

Makes 6 servings

Recipes reprinted from the book The Tuscan Sun Cookbook, by Frances Mayes and Edward Mayes. Copyright 2012 by Frances Mayes and Edward Mayes. Photographs copyright 2012 by Steven Rothfeld. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House Inc.