Taccole con pancetta e pomodoro

Frankcontorno18 Comments

Taccole con pancetta e pomodoro

Snap peas, called taccole or piselli mangiatutto in Italian, are one of spring’s most delightful vegetables. Sweet, crisp and toothsome, they are very easy to cook. And, best of all, they don’t need that tedious shelling needed that fresh peas do.

The specimens you’re likely to find in Italy (at least in Rome, where I lived) were different than the snap peas you’ll find Stateside. Flatter, with thinner skins, they’re more akin to snow peas. No matter. This simple recipe will work very nicely with our rounder, plumper snap peas, which, truth be told, I actually like better.

To make taccole con pancetta e pomodoro, all you need to do is create a savory flavor base of pancetta, shallots and tomato, then throw in your peas and let them sauté until they’re done to your liking. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have a tasty side dish that can accomplish just about any main course you can imagine.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

  • 500g (1 lb) snap peas
  • 50-75g (2-3 oz) pancetta, cut into cubes or lardons
  • 150g (5 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved, or Campari tomatoes, cut into dice
  • 2-3 shallots or fresh spring onion, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil

 Directions

In a skillet large enough to hold all the snap peas, sauté the pancetta over a moderate flame until its fat is well rendered and is beginning to brown nicely. Add the shallots or fresh onions and let it sauté as well, until translucent.

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and let them sauté until they just begin to melt, then add in the snap pea and give them a good turn so they are well covered with the pancetta and tomato.

Sauté the snap peas, turning frequently, until they are done to your liking, as little as 5 minutes if they like them crisp tender and up to 15 if you prefer them “well done”. There should be a small amount of sauce clinging to them. You may need add water along the way if things dry out too much.

Serve up your snap peas right away.

Taccole con pancetta e pomodoro

Notes on taccole con pancetta e pomodoro

The cooking times you’ll find in recipes for taccole can vary enormously. More traditional recipes can call for up to 20 minutes of cooking, which results in a quite a soft veg. As I’ve mentioned before, “crisp tender” vegetables, not raw or quite fully cooked either, aren’t really in the Italian culinary tradition. Italian generally prefer their vegetables fully cooked. I like that style of cooking most of the time, at least when I’m eating Italian. But I make an exception for snap peas. I find they are at their best when they have just a bit of crunch left, just slightly past the crisp-tender stage. Overcook them and, like peas, they lose their wonderful sweetness.

The good thing is, snap peas are more forgiving than regular peas, which can turn from magic to mush in the wink of an eye. That also means that taccole take well to making ahead. Just cook them ever so slightly underdone to your taste, then reheat gently when you’re ready to serve them up.

Taccole con pancetta e pomodoro

Snap Peas with Pancetta and Tomato
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: quick, saute, vegetable

Ingredients

  • 500g (1 lb) snap peas
  • 50-75g (2-3 oz) 50-75g pancetta
  • 150g (5 oz) cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 or 3 shallots or fresh spring onion finely minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • In a skillet large enough to hold all the snap peas, sauté the pancetta over a moderate flame until its fat is well rendered and it is beginning to brown nicely. Add the shallots or fresh onions and let it sauté as well, until translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes to the skillet and let them sauté until they just begin to melt, then add in the snap pea and give them a good turn so they are well covered with the pancetta and tomato.
  • Sauté the snap peas, turning frequently, until they are done to your liking, as little as 5 minutes if they like them crisp tender and up to 15 if you prefer them "well done". There should be a small amount of sauce clinging to them. You may need add water along the way if things dry out too much.
  • Serve right away.

Notes

Cherry tomatoes can be subbed with small Campari style tomatoes, cut into cubes.

Enter your email address below and you'll receive new posts in your inbox as soon as they're published, at absolutely no charge. You'll never miss another recipe!

18 Comments on “Taccole con pancetta e pomodoro”

  1. Frank, we should start seeing fresh Italian sugar snap peas on our grocery home delivery site very soon. Then the Swedish ones will come shortly after, so this dish will hit our table more than once…

  2. The timing on this recipe is perfect, Frank! We’ve been on a serious snap pea kick lately. Truthfully, we’ve been on an all sorts of veggies kick lately, but I keep an eye out for snap peas when I can find ’em. We used to make a somewhat similar recipe to this one, but it’s been ages. I think it’s time to make that one again!

  3. This is similar to a green bean recipe I love that also has Kalamata olives! Which wouldn’t be a terrible addition, but I love the simplicity os this snap pea recipe.

  4. I have not seen snap peas such as yours in any Australian market. Am extremely fond of our snow peas tho’ and oft prepare them in a similar manner. Living in a country where the Asian influences are so strong naturally purist ways such as yours disappear when one reaches for a bottle of soy or ketjap or hoi sin or similar to get the extra flavour to which one is used. Oddly, in my case, I’ll almost always choose any kind of pods and am actually not so fond of the actual peas . . .

  5. My kind of dish. Fresh peas are wonderful, and this is a terrific way to use them. I like the tomato (and who can say no to pancetta?). I prepare green beans in almost this exact same way (typically use bacon, though). But haven’t done peas. Need to try that. When the farmers markets open again and I can get fresh local peas. 🙁 Really nice recipe — thanks.

    1. Yep, I sometimes make green beans like this as well. Should’ve mentioned that in the notes! Thanks so much for stopping by, John!

We love hearing from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.