Sautéed Peas Roman-Style


Why Roman style? Simply because I learned this recipe when I was a student in Rome — many years ago. It’s a recipe that one of my professors talked about in the hallway between classes. It’s never left my repertoire.

It’s so easy. So lovely. A perfect accompaniment to meat, fish, seafood. And so pretty, too!


Sautéed Roman Peas w Onion & Pancetta

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1/3 cup pancetta, diced

1 medium onion, peeled, halved, thinly sliced

¼ cup wine

1 lb. bag frozen peas

salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the pancetta. Cook until lightly browned. Add onion & cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the wine. Let it simmer for a minute or so and mostly evaporate. Add peas and a ¼ cup of water. Cook until peas defrost and water evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil. Serve.

BOOK peas roman

Peas, Roman-Style

Rome Umbrella Pines

Rome Umbrella Pines

Give me anything Roman-style and I’m happy.

Food, architecture, culture, coffee, personality, shopping, cafes, trattorie, character…just the feel of the air, even that makes me happy. The sound of the traffic. The feel of the cobblestone streets (the stones they call sanpietrini). The fountain around most corners. The markets. Yes, si, si, si.

Campo Dei Fiori Market

Campo Dei Fiori Market

So peas Roman-style are equally alluring. I learned this from a professor of mine when I went to school in Rome. It was common to trade recipes while passing in a hallway between classes. Eating is a frequent subject. I say trade recipes, but I really mean was told recipes. At that point in my life I had few to trade, but I was all ears for anything…Roman.

Cafe in Rome

Cafe in Rome

It’s an easy recipe and whenever we make it in my classes (or at private cooking parties) people LOVE it. I use frozen petite peas, but if you’ve got your hands on fresh by all means. I imagine regular size peas–frozen or fresh– work just as well, but I’m a petite pea fan (must be from my childhood days when peas came from the Le Sueur can).

Peas, Roman-Style

Peas, Roman-Style

Peas, Roman-Style

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, cut into thin half-moons

1/4 lb. pancetta, diced, or torn into small pieces

1 lb. petite frozen peas (you don’t have to thaw them first)

1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a medium or large sauté pan. Add the onion and pancetta and cook until onion is softened and pancetta is cooked thru. Add the peas. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer (if it isn’t already simmering). Add the wine or vermouth. Let evaporate. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for a few minutes more (5ish). Finito.

sampietrini in Rome

sanpietrini in Rome