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Sweet Pea Risotto with Basil & Pancetta

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This luxuriously creamy pea risotto recipe combines the freshest sweet peas with the irresistible flavors of basil, Parmesan and pancetta!

For more delicious risotto recipes be sure to try my Mushroom Risotto, Tomato RisottoSalmon Risotto, and Pumpkin Risotto!

pea risotto recipe bacon basil parmesan cheese pancetta aneto broth

Pea Risotto Recipe

In celebration of Spring, I want to introduce you to a risotto featuring one of early Spring’s finest bounties:  The garden-fresh sweet pea.  Aren’t they simply irresistible?

We had a really nice harvest of sweet peas last year and are looking forward to picking the first batch of this Spring.  Our kids had a fun time helping pick and shell the peas and then experiencing the cool, smooth sensation of dipping their little hands into a bowl filled with hundreds and hundreds of peas.  It’s simple family efforts like harvesting peas that always make for meaningful memories.

fresh peas from the garden

We’re featuring these sweet peas in a delicious risotto.  So what is risotto anyway?  It’s a rice dish that is cooked in quality broth (meat, fish or vegetable) until it has reached a creamy, but still slightly chewy, consistency.  There are many variations of risotto but many include onions, butter and wine.  Depending on the type of risotto, in Italy it can be served as either a first course or served along with the main course.

In order to achieve that unique texture that is risotto’s hallmark, it’s vital to use a special kind of medium-grain rice.  The two most notable varieties are carnaroli and arborio, both grown in the northern regions of Italy, but the former – carnaroli – is considered the “king of Italian rices,” because it has an even higher starch content than Arborio, resulting in a luxuriously creamy risotto with the perfect degree of chewiness.  It’s absolutely worth it to find and use carnaroli rice.  I got a 5-pack here on Amazon.

pea risotto recipe basil bacon pancetta wine aneto broth

Risotto takes us to the northern region of Italy.  Risotto is a specialty throughout northern Italy, including the region of Lombardy where risotto originated.  Two areas in Lombardy you’ve probably heard of include Lake Como, an upscale alpine resort in a breathtaking setting, and Milan, the capital of Lombardy.  I’m originally from Stuttgart Germany and Milan was only a 5 1/2 hour drive away, making it easily accessible for weekend getaways.

Milan, the original home of risotto, is a global cultural hub, famous for its shopping and restaurants, and its renowned gothic cathedral, the Duomo di Milano, is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of “The Last Supper.”  Rice is thought to have caught on during Spain’s nearly two-century rule of this Italian city:  The Moors had earlier introduced rice to Spain and during Spain’s subsequent rule of Milan, rice became a staple.

milan italy

Our Fresh Pea Risotto with Basil & Pancetta features fresh garden peas that are pureed and nestled whole among creamy, delicately seasoned rice.  It’s topped off with some diced pancetta for an added layer of flavor.

I’m using my most favorite brand of chicken broth for this risotto, Aneto’s 100% Natural Chicken Broth.  It’s imported from Barcelona, Spain and is the highest quality chicken broth available on the market.  Aneto’s broths are not made from concentrates, contain no artificial ingredients or fillers, no MSG disguised as “yeast extract”, and no “natural flavors” (a FDA loophole translated as “anything goes”).  Aneto’s broths are all made from the freshest, purest, REAL ingredients that are slow-simmered for several hours using the same method you do when making broth in your own kitchen.

Todd and I had the privilege of touring Aneto’s factory while on vacation in Barcelona, Spain.  It was the most remarkable food-related experience we’ve ever had.  We were able to observe first-hand Aneto’s entire broth-making process from start to finish, everything from washing and chopping the vegetables to simmering the broth in large pots, to filling cartons with the broth for distribution. You really MUST take our virtual tour of Aneto’s factory, see it for yourself and learn why Aneto is the most exceptional broth manufacturer in the world.  Take me on the tour!

aneto broth

On a low salt diet?  Aneto also makes a Low Salt version of their Chicken Broth.  And if you want to make a vegetarian or vegan version of this, simply omit the pancetta and use vegetable instead of chicken broth. Aneto also makes the highest quality 100% natural vegetable broth.

aneto chicken and vegetable broths

So be sure to use a quality broth and the freshest sweet peas you can find, and we’re confident you’re going to love this wonderful Spring-themed risotto!


pea risotto recipe basil bacon pancetta wine aneto broth

pea risotto recipe basil bacon pancetta

pea risotto recipe bacon basil parmesan cheese aneto broth

Sweet Pea Risotto with Basil and Pancetta

Bursting with the fresh flavor of spring, this luxuriously creamy risotto will wow your taste buds!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Entree, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine All
Servings 4 servings
Calories 595 kcal



  • Place 1 1/2 cups of the peas in a blender along with the 1/2 cup of reserved broth and puree until smooth. Set aside until ready to use and reserve the remaining cup of whole peas for the very end.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice grains with oil. Add the wine and boil until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add 1 cup of the hot broth and the salt. Stir gently until most of the broth has been absorbed. Add the remaining cup of stock, repeating the process. After 10 to 15 minutes the rice should be creamy but still very slightly chewy. If the rice seems too dry, a little more broth. Stir in the butter and Parmesan. Stir in the basil, pureed peas and the reserved cup of whole peas. Heat through and add salt to taste. Sprinkle with the pancetta and garnish with a sprig of basil. Serve immediately.


Calories: 595kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 17gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 773mgPotassium: 534mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 945IUVitamin C: 38.3mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 2.4mg
Keyword Pea Risotto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating

5 from 8 votes (1 rating without comment)


  1. This risotto recipe seems so finger-licking! I’d love to prepare it for lunch, Kimberly!

  2. I love fresh sweet peas, podding them and everything. I had some last year from a neighbor, who got them from another friend’s garden as well. She didn’t feel like podding them, so she passed them on to me and we loved them. Using them for a risotto sounds so good, I would love to try this.

  3. Kimberly, I get from time to time this brand of stock and I absolutely love it. I can just imagine the flavors of these sweet peas and the stock in this beautiful risotto, I mean, bacon is just a bonus here! Well done!

  4. Kimberly, I just wanted to let you know that I made this for my husband and I today and we both LOVED it! I didn’t have any fresh sweet peas but I used frozen ones which I thawed and it was still excellent. I look forward to making it again as soon as I can get my hands on some fresh sweet peas. I also used the Aneto chicken broth which is superb. Thank you!