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
fresh shelled sweet peas, rinsed
pancetta, bacon or guanciale, cured pig’s cheek (omit if vegetarian)
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.