Spring Peas With Onions And Pancetta

I have a confession to make…..I have a love-hate relationship with peas. I grew up being served canned peas…..yes, I do mean those awful, army green colored mushy things that melt in your mouth. This early childhood pea experience created an aversion to peas that I wasn’t able to conquer until adulthood when I finally tasted “real” peas. You know the freshly picked spring peas sauteed until they are still tender crisp? Who knew peas could even taste that good!

I do admit, if I am out at a restaurant and I see “peas” anywhere in the ingredient list you can be sure I will not order that dish just in case those peas are overcooked. The only peas I now eat, and thoroughly enjoy I might add, are the fresh ones I prepare in my own kitchen as in this recipe.

We are usually in Umbria every spring where I tend to go a little crazy buying fresh peas, artichokes, asparagus, and fava beans. Since we are unable to fly to Italy this past year,  when I found a huge mound of spring peas in a local grocery store I just had to buy them.

Fresh, shelled peas are delicious prepared in this manner in fact, and in no way resemble those awful canned ones! Now I must add, that my Mother-In-Law has cooked frozen peas in a similar manner that were really tasty as well, so if you cannot find fresh peas, try using a good quality frozen pea instead, but do please avoid those awful canned ones!

I also prepare my fava beans (broad beans for those in England) in the same manner and they are equally delicious. I cook my peas in this recipe just until they are tender crisp, but if you prefer yours softer, simply cook them a little longer. Any leftover peas are wonderful in a frittata the next morning!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Spring Peas With Onions And Pancetta

Spring Peas With Onions And Pancetta

Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Sweet spring peas are delicious sauteed with pancetta and onions.


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Pound Diced Pancetta (I Prefer Unsmoked In This Recipe)
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled And Finely Chopped
  • 1 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 1/2 Pounds (Or About 5 Cups) Fresh Shelled Peas (about 4 cups shelled)
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the pancetta and onion over medium heat until the pancetta is lightly browned and the onions soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant.
  3. Add the wine, peas, and pepper.
  4. Simmer covered for about 5 minutes, then uncover and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the peas are tender crisp.
  5. Season with salt to taste and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

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