CREAMY SPRING PEAS WITH PANCETTA
I had the distinct pleasure of cooking for my husband’s family this Easter. My mother in law had a gift certificate to Honey Baked Ham, so I was responsible for the sides. Tired of the same old casseroles (squash, green bean, au gratin potatoes), I scoured countless cookbooks, websites, and the like in search of something a little different. While perusing this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine, I stumbled across this dish. It just jumped off the page and begged to be incluced in my Easter feast. I thought it turned out great and offered a little something less heavy and traditional than usual holiday fare. I encourage you to try it. It was super easy and inexpensive to make.
Original recipe found at Food Network Magazine
2 cups shelled fresh English peas or thawed frozen peas (about 10 ounces)
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water. If using fresh English peas, add to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Add the snap peas and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes, then add the snow peas and cook 30 seconds. Drain the peas and plunge into the ice water to cool.
Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Add the flour to the drippings in the skillet and cook, whisking, until toasted, about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream and cook until reduced by one-third, about 6 minutes.
Drain the peas, shaking off the excess water, then add to the skillet (if using frozen peas, add them here). Cook, stirring, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the pancetta.