Piselli in Bardino

Stewed Peas with Garlic

In the generous-hearted Marche, not even the simple pea escapes being flavoured with lots of rich ingredients and textures. Fresh peas taste much better than canned or frozen peas whatever you do to them but this recipe will enliven frozen or canned peas. Buy about 1.4 kg (3 lb) peas in the pod to get 450 g (1 lb) after shelling.

These peas make a popular ‘contorno’ for many easy Italian sautéed dishes, for example veal escalopes, or fried chicken. More often, though, contorno means a side dish that is so associated with a main dish that it invariably appears with it – in the way that roast potatoes are part and parcel of a British roast.

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  • 450 g (1 lb) shelled peas, or canned or frozen peas
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 75 g ( oz) butter
  • salt
  • a large pinch of dried oregano
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) beef, chicken or vegetable stock


If using fresh peas, shell them and put them in a bowl of cold water to soak. Fry the onion and the garlic slowly in butter until the onion is transparent, then add the drained peas and sprinkle with salt and oregano. Add a little bit of stock. Cover tightly and simmer very slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Frozen peas will take 15 minutes. Serve very hot.