peas and pancetta

March 18, 2013 § Leave a comment


Served on rice with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Years ago I had a friend who spent a few years in Italy.  She fell in love, married an Italian man and they moved to America.  They ended up in my home town.  We began sharing weekly meals together over the course of a year or so.  It was as though I was in cooking school!   She always made sure to include me while she was cooking.  Whether it was chopping, grating or stirring, I felt “involved”.  Sadly, she moved away.  She found her dream job working for a winery in the Alexander Valley area of Northern California, catering their special events.  What I wouldn’t do at the time to follow her!

This peas and pancetta recipe came from one evening cooking with her.  I have changed it a little.  She actually used ham.  I think it was because the town we lived in didn’t have a market for good quality proscuitto or pancetta.  Bacon is another good substitution.  I think if I was to use bacon I would cook it crispy before adding it to the peas.  This is a very italian style pea recipe.  They become thick and creamy after simmering for a good 15 minutes.  Delicious served on rice.  That is how we had it for dinner tonight.  With a generous sprinkling of parmesan.

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 red onion,  chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen peas
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • About 4 oz. pancetta, proscuitto or 4 slices of crispy cooked bacon

Melt about half of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook slowly until it is softened and aromatic.  Add the peas, stir to combine, and then add the remaining butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender and sweet, about 15 minutes. Add your choice of cured meat and stir to mix. Then turn off the heat, cover the skillet, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Taste, and season as needed.

Serves 4

buon appetite!


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