Now piselli alla romana may be the shortest post I ever write, as this tasty and elegant side dish is about as simple as a recipe can get, short of boiling water.
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 1 large bag (approx. 450g/16 oz) of frozen peas, or the equivalent in fresh, shelled peas
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 slices of prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Make a soffritto by sweating some finely chopped onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the prosciutto, cut across the grain into thin strips, and continue cooking just until the prosciutto has lost its ‘raw’ look.
Then add peas—frozen peas will do nicely—and stir. Allow the peas to cook and absorb the flavors of the soffritto. If using frozen peas, this will take no longer than five minutes, otherwise let the peas simmer until tender, about 15-2o minutes. Season to taste and serve!
Two fine variations on piselli alla romana are piselli al guanciale and piselli alla pancetta, which use guanciale or pancetta instead of the prosciutto. They are more ‘down home’ but every bit as delicious.