4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups fresh shelled sweet peas (or frozen, if fresh peas are not in season)
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 basil, chiffonade
In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add the saffron threads and watch the broth turn yellow (10-15 min).
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute the onions in olive oil over moderate heat until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Do not brown. Add the rice, and saute until the rice starts to become translucent. Then stir in the wine and cook until absorbed. Add the chicken broth one ladle at a time, allowing the broth to be absorbed between each addition, stirring constantly. After approximately 15 minutes, when most of the broth has been added, taste the risotto for doneness. The risotto should be quite creamy, but still have a strong bite to the rice.
At this point, when the risotto is not quite done, add the peas with one last ladle of broth. Cook, stirring constantly, for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the cheese and the basil, check for seasonings, and serve immediately.