Piselli are peas, and sweet peas are in season, right now. Take advantage of the moment, they don’t last for long. No, frozen peas are not the same. Go to the market, and buy fresh peas; nothing else tastes the same! We went today with our Montonese-Portland friends, and came home to share the spoils of our market adventure. Long lunches on a Wednesday afternoon are a decadent pleasure.
Pasta con Piselli Primavera
1-2 pounds of fresh peas in the pod, to yield 1 ½-2 cups shelled peas
4-5 thin slices of a medium onion
2 thin slices of pancetta
1 T olive oil
In a pan large enough to hold the pasta, gently heat the pancetta and onions together, with a little olive oil. You can sub some good quality bacon for the pancetta, but then cut back to one slice as you only want a hint of porky flavor. Or, you can leave it out altogether. You don’t want the onions to brown, but just to soften.
At the same time, melt the butter, and poach the peas directly in the butter. Resist the temptation to grab a large spoon and eat all the peas by yourself.
Choose a wide ribbon egg pasta, or bow ties for that classic Tuscan look. (You know those very debonair Tuscan gentleman, handsome older men that walk around with their over coats permanently slung on their shoulders….but I digress….)
Cook the pasta, drain, and along with a ladle full of pasta water, add the pasta to the onion/pancetta pan, now toss in the peas, mix well and serve.
Need some pasta inspiration? Stop by Ruth’s Once Upon a Feast blog, and see what’s cooking for Pasta Presto Night.