Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Risotto with legumes and vegetables, Latium-style
( Risotto alla ciociara )

Traditional recipe

This risotto with pulses and vegetables is very simple but rich in ingredients and very tasty. Based on typical vegetables of late spring (asparagus, zucchini and peas) it sees the addition of beans that ripen later but you can replace them with canned or frozen product without any problem. Really you can do this risotto throughout the year using frozen ingredients. A typical dish for vegetarians and for those who like to eat healthy.

difficulty: medium

time: 1 hour 10 minutes

calories: 404 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 450g (1 pound) long-grain, parboiled rice
  • 200g (7 ounces) fresh asparagus, sliced
  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) zucchini (courgettes), cubed
  • 200g (7 ounces) beans, shelled
  • 200g (7 ounces) fresh peas, shelled
  • 400g (14 ounces) fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1,5 l (3.2 pints) vegetable broth
  • 60g (2.1 ounces) unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if you like
  • Pepper, if you like
medium difficulty
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 40 minutes
total: 1 hour 10 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 404 (kcal) 21 % - 1689 (kJ)
Protein: 12.1 (g) 25 % GDA
Total fat: 9.1 (g) 13 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 73.1 (g) 28 % GDA
Sugars: 6.0 (g) 7 % GDA

Download free PDF version (197 download).

Recipe for Italian risotto with pulses and vegetables

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare all ingredients.
    Wash tomatoes and let them boil for a minute to remove their peel easily.
    Remove seeds too and cube them.
    Prepare all other vegetables and pulses.
  • - Cooking risotto.
    Fry slightly onion in melted butter in a non-stick saucepan.
    Then add peas, zucchini (courgettes), asparagus and diced tomatoes.
    For beans read below, on notes.
    Flavor all these vegetables for some minutes and then pour in a glass of warm water.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper (if you like) and cook, half-covered, over a medium heat, 20 minutes. Meanwhile prepare vegetable broth and add it together with rice to vegetables.
    Cook, other 15 minutes, half-covered, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon.
    Add other broth only if necessary.
    While rice is cooking, clean, wash and chop parsley.
    Add parsley to your risotto a minute before the end of cooking.
    Stir very well and let cooking juice reduce.

Just before serving

  • - Serve your risotto hot, accompanied by a little bowl full of grated Parmesan; every guest will be able to spoon it over his risotto according to his taste.



  • - You can substitute butter with 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. It's better, remember that butter should be eaten rarely.
  • - If you use canned beans, add them a few minutes before turning off the stove after draining very well.
    If you use frozen beans add them to fried onions along with asparagus, zucchini and peas. Let all vegetables and legumes flavor stirring now and then and continue as described in the recipe.
    Steps do not change with fresh beans.
  • - To speed this recipe you can use frozen beans, peas, zucchini and asparagus. It may also be convenient to use frozen parsley. In this case, fry onion in butter or olive oil and then add all frozen vegetables except parsley. Cook for a while, stirring, and then pour in very little hot water. Let simmer until all vegetables thaw and then, once reduced all cooking liquid, add rice and hot broth.
  • - It would be better to use fresh tomatoes but if you have no time you can use canned tomatoes, chopped (300g - 10 1/2 ounces).
  • - I suggest to add 1 dried bay leaf and 2 tablespoons dried chives to other ingredients especially if you don't like onion.

Menu planning

  • - This risotto, Latium-style is perfect for your family menu. Complete your meal with a seasonal green salad or raw vegetables and fresh fruit.
  • - I think you can plan a meal for your get-togethers or special occasions too with this risotto. Its doses serve much more than 6 in this case ;))
    Here's my suggestion.
    Starter. Open your meal with a typical Italian antipasto. An assorted platter with salami, cheeses and frittata with vegetables would be delicious.
    First course. This risotto with legumes and spring begetables.
    Second course. Choose the dish you prefer among lamb, rabbit, pork, beef, veal recipes you can easily find in our meat recipe index.
    Dessert. I'd close my meal with a ricotta cake. In Italy we prepare ricotta and candied fruit tart or ricotta piefrom Piedmont and many others. Links to these recipes in the next paragraph.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - Nutrition facts do not include grated Parmesan.
  • - This risotto is a great example of a dish with all main nutrients and the best way to consume legumes. In fact, according to the Mediterranean tradition we Italians, especially in the South, combine legumes with grains, not with other protein source such as meat or fish. Legumes are themselves a source of protein!
  • - Fiber per serving: 6,9 grams


What's the right wine for " Risotto with legumes and vegetables, Latium-style "?

My husband and I generally pair Castelli Romani Rosato (rosé wine from Latium).