This recipe is savory and soul satisfying. In part, because of the creamy goodness. But, really when it gets down to it, I believe that it is the process of making risotto that I find contentment. Without question, I’m right there to eat as well. It’s so aromatic and texturally pleasing. The flavors are perfectly balanced between the sharpness of the parmesan, creaminess of the mascarpone, sweetness and crunch of the hand shelled peas, the pungeant lemon juice and zest, and the subtle layer of Picual olive oil. —Laurie Tacchella
Begin by prepping all of the ingredients before you start the risotto. Finely chop the shallots, shell the peas, zest and juice the lemon, grate the Parmesan, finely mince the chives, and hand tear the mint. Set ingredients aside.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until just translucent. Add rice and stir for a minute to coat with oil and butter. Add 1/2 t sea salt. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, a ladle at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the lemon zest. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture, 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, peas, and 3 T chives. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside for a few minutes, off the heat. Serve hot with a sprinkling of chives, mint, and more Parmesan cheese.