I have a confession to make…..I have a love-hate relationship with peas. I grew up being served canned peas…..yes, I do mean those awful, army green colored mushy things that melt in your mouth. This early childhood pea experience created an aversion to peas that I wasn’t able to conquer until adulthood when I finally tasted “real” peas. You know the freshly picked spring peas sauteed until they are still tender crisp? Who knew peas could even taste that good!
I do admit, if I am out at a restaurant and I see “peas” anywhere in the ingredient list you can be sure I will not order that dish just in case those peas are overcooked. The only peas I now eat, and thoroughly enjoy I might add, are the fresh ones I prepare in my own kitchen as in this recipe.
We are usually in Umbria every spring where I tend to go a little crazy buying fresh peas, artichokes, asparagus, and fava beans. Since we are unable to fly to Italy this past year, when I found a huge mound of spring peas in a local grocery store I just had to buy them.
Fresh, shelled peas are delicious prepared in this manner in fact, and in no way resemble those awful canned ones! Now I must add, that my Mother-In-Law has cooked frozen peas in a similar manner that were really tasty as well, so if you cannot find fresh peas, try using a good quality frozen pea instead, but do please avoid those awful canned ones!
I also prepare my fava beans (broad beans for those in England) in the same manner and they are equally delicious. I cook my peas in this recipe just until they are tender crisp, but if you prefer yours softer, simply cook them a little longer. Any leftover peas are wonderful in a frittata the next morning!
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/4 Pound Diced Pancetta (I Prefer Unsmoked In This Recipe)
- 1 Small Onion, Peeled And Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 1/2 Pounds (Or About 5 Cups) Fresh Shelled Peas (about 4 cups shelled)
- 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
- Salt & Pepper
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the pancetta and onion over medium heat until the pancetta is lightly browned and the onions soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant.
- Add the wine, peas, and pepper.
- Simmer covered for about 5 minutes, then uncover and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the peas are tender crisp.
- Season with salt to taste and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g