Peas grown in the eastern part of Verona are a historical product of excellence. The popular festival “Sagra dei Bisi” until 27 May in the courtyard of Villa Aquadevita in Colognola ai Colli, in the province of Verona (about 25 minutes’ drive from the city centre).

Colognola ai Colli is celebrating one of its most illustrious and typical products of the earth. It is the Verdone Nano pea, a pea cultivated for a hundred years and characterised by its crunchiness and sweetness. The traditional Sagra dei Bisi di Colognola ai Colli, now in its 66th edition, will be held from 17 to 20 and from 24 to 27 May in the courtyard of Villa Aquadevita in Colognola ai Colli. Don’t miss the ‘rice and bisi’ menu.

The distinctive features of the Verdone Nano variety, with its rounded shape and bright green colour, are its earliness and sweetness. In addition to Verdone Nano, two other dwarf varieties are cultivated in the municipality to a lesser extent: Tristar and Provenzale.

The typical recipe “Riso e Bisi”

500 g shelled peas
500 g of vialone nano rice
2 fresh white onions
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
50 g butter
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
broth salt and pepper to taste

A chicken broth is prepared, preferably the day before, with celery, carrots, onion, a clove of garlic and a little salt. In a saucepan, put the 5 tablespoons of olive oil, shelled peas, fresh white onions cut into thin pieces, chopped parsley and half a glass of water. Cook everything for 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Add salt and the rice and continue cooking, pouring in the necessary stock a little at a time. At the end of cooking, with the rice al dente, turn off the heat, and season with butter, grated Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground pepper; the broth should be added as much as necessary so that it is softly ‘all’onda’, i.e. just enough to move softly when placed on the plate.