A recipe by Franco Mazzei

“Fresh broad beans, peas, courgette flowers and mint: a real ode to early summer and fresh flavours. My secret is to lift the fresh taste of the stock by adding the pea pods and delicate broad bean skins. I like to use the Grana Padano over 16 months both melted into the risotto and as a finely grated garnish for a more complex note”.   

Serves 4

120g broad beans, podded

100g peas, podded (with pods reserved)

70g butter

1 banana shallot, finely chopped

250g good quality risotto rice

80ml white wine

About 2l chicken stock

50g Grana Padano over 16 months, grated, plus extra to garnish

Freshly grated nutmeg

6 courgette flowers, chopped

3g mint leaves

  1. Blanch the broad beans in salted water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh under cold water. Squeeze each broad bean delicately between your thumb and index to pop them out. Add the broad bean skins and reserved pea pods to the chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes.
  1. Melt 20g of butter in a large saucepan. Add the shallot and cook for a few minutes until soft (but do not allow it to colour). Add the rice and stir well so that all of the grains are coated with butter and the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add the wine and let it evaporate, stirring frequently. Add the stock a couple of ladles at a time and let the risotto simmer gently.
  1. After about 20 minutes, taste the rice and check that it is “al dente”: cooked but still with a slight resistance under the teeth. Make sure the risotto has enough stock to remain wet and creamy. Add the rest of the butter, the cheese and few gratings of nutmeg. Stir well to incorporate the butter and release most of the starch. Add the broad beans, peas, courgette flowers and roughly torn mint leaves.
  1. Adjust the seasoning and serve “Milano style”, spread on a large flat plate. Scatter finely grated Grana Padano over the top.