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.
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.
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).
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.