Peas with garlic and pancetta

Ingredients

  • 1 ten-ounce package frozen tiny peas, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons prosciutto OR for a less salty taste, pancetta, diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped very fine
  • Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • Salt

Method

1. If using fresh peas: Shell them, and prepare some of the pods for cooking by stripping away their inner membrane, as described. Try to do about 1 cup of pods.

If using frozen peas: Proceed to the next step.

2. Put the garlic and the olive oil in a saute pan, and turn on the heat to medium high. Cook and stir the garlic until it has become colored a light nut-brown, then take it out, and add the diced prosciutto or pancetta.

Stir quickly 5 or 6 times, then put in the fresh peas with their stripped-down pods or the thawed frozen peas, and turn them over completely once or twice to coat well.

Add the parsley and a few grindings of pepper, and, if you are using fresh peas, ¼ cup water. Turn the heat down to medium and put a lid on the pan.

If using frozen peas, cook for 5 minutes. If using fresh peas, it may take from 15 to 30 minutes, depending entirely on their youth and freshness. If the liquid in the pan becomes insufficient, replenish with 1 or 2 tablespoons water as needed.

When the peas are done, there should be no water left in the pan. Should the pan juices be watery when the peas are cooked, uncover, turn up the heat, and simmer them away.

Taste and correct for salt, stir well, then turn the entire contents of the pan onto a warm platter and serve at once.

Comments

Works fine every time! Much better.

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