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Author Notes: Sweet peas have arrived at the farmers market, spring is here! Peas & pancetta - one of my favorite dishes that I only eat in Spring when the peas are bright & fresh. I can't get enough, I don't know if it's the peas or the pancetta - is it the green veggie or the fatty pork that I love so?! Maybe I should just have another spoonful... —La Tavola Marche
- 12 ounces fresh shelled sweet peas, rinsed
- 4 ounces pancetta, bacon or guanciale, cured pig’s cheek (omit if vegetarian)
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2-3 cherry tomatoes, halved
- small handfuls small parsley, chopped
- tiny bit of mint, chopped (optional)
- salt & pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- Bring a medium pot up to boil. In the meantime, in a medium skillet on medium-low heat, slowly render down the pancetta for 4-5 minutes, trying not to brown it and not crispy. If it starts to brown remove the pan from the heat or lower the flame.
- Next add garlic & onion, sauté for 5-6 minutes. (Vegetarian Note: Just omit the the pancetta & sauté the onions & garlic in olive oil.) When the onions & garlic are about 2 minutes from being ready, add the tomatoes.
- At the same time toss the peas in the water and blanch for 2-3 minutes. You want them approximately half-cooked. Strain the peas and throw them directly into the pan with the pancetta adding a spoonful of the pea-water. Allow to cook until peas are cooked but still have a bite.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper. Just before you serve, toss in the herbs and drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish with Meat as a Flavoring
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