Florentine-style peas

Florentine-style peas

Piselli alla fiorentina

By
From
Florentine
Serves
4
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

The pairing of peas and ham is always a good one but the secret ingredient of one of Florence’s best-loved contorni (side dishes) is a teaspoon of sugar added towards the end. You can choose to leave it out, especially if using sweet, fresh peas, but it adds a certain characteristic sweetness to the dish. The generous addition of water is intentional; the broth that results from cooking the peas is partly what makes this dish so beloved. As Florentine painter-chef Guido Peyron wrote in his recipe book of 1956, ‘La grazia dei piselli alla fiorentina è proprio di essere serviti con abbondante aquetta saporosa,’ which means something along the lines of: the saving grace of Florentine-style peas is the fact that it is served with abundant flavourful broth. Like many Florentine dishes, this is even better reheated the next day.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
100g pancetta, cut into thin strips, (or prosciutto or ham)
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
500g fresh, shelled peas
4 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon sugar, (optional)

Method

  1. In a saucepan, gently heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the pancetta and garlic over a low heat for about 1 minute. Add the peas, parsley and enough cold water to just reach the level of the peas. Season with a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook until the peas are tender and the garlic is cooked. Add the sugar (if desired) just before removing from the heat.
  2. Serve warm or even at room temperature with the rest of the olive oil, freshly ground pepper and plenty of the broth.

Note

  • In Florence you can find baskets of freshly shelled peas at the market, which saves a lot of time. You can also cook this recipe with good-quality frozen peas with great results.
Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again