Crush the saffron threads in your fingers and put to steep in a coffee cup of the hot stock while you carry on with the recipe.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the diced bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the butter to the pan and then the onion. Fry over medium heat until softened but not browned. Add the rice and stir until each grain is well coated with the butter.
Add the wine and simmer until it is almost absorbed by the rice. Add about one-third of the stock. When this has been absorbed, add another one-third of the stock, plus the peas if using fresh ones. Stir the rice occasionally with a fork to prevent sticking. Add the strained saffron liquid, the olives, frozen peas, fried bacon, and salt and pepper to taste with the final third of the stock. Cook until the rice is tender-it should still be moist but not sticky. It is difficult to give the exact amount of liquid; a little more may be needed or a little less.
© 1999 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.