This recipe, Risi e Pisi, or Rice and Peas, is one of my favorite dishes. But then again, what isn't!
Anyway, it's from Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet Cooks With Wine (1986). It works as a side dish or as the main event, as we had it tonight. It is quite simple to make and I'm sure you could tweak it very easily to suit your personal tastes. For example if you can't have pork or you are a vegetarian simply leave out the pork and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
So here we go. You'll need 4 T olive oil; 4 T butter; 1/4 C chopped yellow onion (about a small to medium onion); 1 1/2 C long grained rice; 3 T dry sherry; 3 C shelled fresh peas or 2 pkgs frozen peas, thawed; 1 C diced smoked ham (about 1/4 lb.); 3 C hot chicken stock; 1 1/2 t salt; 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper; 1/4 C grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
First heat olive oil and 2 T butter in a pot. I always seem to add all four T butter but it doesn't hurt it any. Saute the onions for five minutes.
Mix in the rice and stir until translucent.
Add the sherry and cook over low heat for one minute.
Add the peas, ham, 2 C of the hot stock...
...salt, and pepper.
Cover, bring to a boil and cook over low heat for ten minutes.
Add the remaining broth, cover and cook for another ten minutes or until the rice is tender and dry (I just keep checking every five minutes until it's to the point where I like it). Test for seasoning, mix in the remaining 2 T butter and the cheese. When serving I like to add an extra bit of cheese on top.