Piselli All’olio

Peas Cooked in Olive Oil

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Peas cooked in this way can be added to a delicious frittata, or mixed with a little warmed cream to dress pasta, with just a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper to finish it off. The peas are soaked first, which means that they soften without cooking, and their natural sweetness develops perfectly. If you use an attractive pan you can serve the peas in it.

Ingredients

  • 1.2 kg/ lb fresh peas in their pods, or 450 g/1 lb shelled peas
  • 100 ml/ fl oz/scant ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp caster/superfine sugar
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Method

  1. Soak the peas in cold water for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, put the oil in a flameproof casserole or heavy pan and add the sliced onion. Fry the onion over a low heat for about 10 minutes, or until it has softened and turned golden brown in colour.

  3. Drain the peas and add to the onion. Add the sugar, season with salt and pepper, then cover and cook gently until soft and cooked through. The timing will depend on how large or small the peas are: tiny ones will take about 4 minutes; larger, fat peas with tougher skins could take up to 15 minutes.

Variation

Fry a little chopped pancetta or fatty prosciutto crudo with the onion, if you like.

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