Is there any way to make peas taste better? Just like bacon, pancetta makes everything taste better.
Pancetta is like an Italian bacon made from the pork belly meat, and is salt cured. Sometimes it is sliced very thin, or more likely, found diced in small cubes. You can find it in the deli of your grocery store, usually around the area where the gourmet cheese is.
I found this recipe in a Penzey's Spice magazine several years ago. If you are near a Penzey's Spices store, GO! The spices are amazing. They have jars of every single spice so you get to smell each one. I also try to avoid cooking with salt as much as I can. Penzey's has a whole sheet of their own spice blends that are salt free! They are amazing! If you get a chance, I encourage you to stop in and check out the store.
Ok, back on track.
This is a recipe I don't make too often, more when we are having a special dinner. Take a look.
Peas and Pancetta
1 pound frozen peas
1/2 lb finely diced pancetta
3 shellots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon thyme (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown and the fat has rendered off, 15-20 minutes. Remove pancetta to drain on a paper-towel lined plate. If there is a more than about 1/4 cup of oil left in the pan, drain some off and discard.
Add the shallots, crushed red peppers and thyme to the pan and cook until softened, stirring regularly, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook until just warmed through, 5-10 minutes. Stir gently every few minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add the pancetta and stir to combine.
This is definately not a hard recipe to make, but it's worth it. The best thing is that the pancetta comes already diced and ready to use. No prepping necessary. I can see substituting bacon if you can't find pancetta. But, then you have to go through the process of slicing and cooking the bacon. Pancetta is sooo much easier.
Until next time...Stampin' Always,
Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper