Risi e Bisi (Rice and Peas in Venetian dialect) was the official dish served to the Doge of Venice, every 25th of April, the feast day of Saint Mark, Venice's patron saint. It was also an occasion to celebrate the beginning of spring, farmers from the lagoon islands, would compete for the honor of providing the seasons very first peas for the Doge and his illustrious guests.
|good enough for the Doge of Venice|
Sometimes not enough peas had ripened for this date, therefore a reserve consignment from elsewhere would be on hand, probably to save some poor lagoon gardener's head from being chopped off by a hungry Doge!
Dino and I are very lucky to have a small ORTO (allotment), and we planted our peas back in February. It is just so beautiful to follow their progress from when they first burst up from the ground, to finally picking and eating these lovely little green globes.
|our little darlings in February|
My husband has only a very basic grasp of mathematics, this leads him to be quite generous and frivolous, except when it comes to his precious produce, it brings out a stinginess in him I've never seen before...
A few years ago, all our friends kept badgering him about when were we going to eat Risi e Bisi, obviously using his new peas, but the garden gods had not been kind to him that year, and he just couldn't part with the few prized peas he had, so he made me prepare the dish for our voracious venetian chums with peas bought from the markets, pretending that they were his home grown ones! Our dirty little secret is out, and I'm feeling better already.
Go to Rice with Peas recipe
|his precious produce!!!!|