Firstly, a quick update on my virtual treadmill walk to the summit of Mount Etna! Great progress this week – I logged 30.52 km or 18.97 miles on the treadmill this week! 30.87 km to go. Tracing my route, I think I am somewhere on the A18 between Taormina and Giarre, my next turn…a bit of a dusty highway but passing by some fun towns at the sea like Giardini Naxos. I will post a few fav Sicilian recipes from this great region over the next few weeks. Thanks for coming along for the stroll.
This is the first year that I have planted peas in my garden – how fun! But what to do with all those peas. I have been eating them morning, noon and night …well, at least, noon and night. How exciting to peel back that little shell and reveal those little beauties all lined up in a row in the pod. (Who thought up this stuff??) And the taste – unlike any pea I have eaten in a bag or a can. Ahhh, life’s simple pleasures. But what to do with all those peas? The only thing I won’t put peas on is pasta. Odd I know as I AM Italian – but growing up, my mother’s version of macaroni and cheese was peas, pasta and parmigiano. We ate it ALL the time. Yes, it was delicious and healthy but I unfortunately have had a few lifetimes of peas and pasta. So with pasta off the list, it has been fun to get creative with my little green friends. Today with the last of them begging for mercy against the soaring temperatures, I made this salad for lunch – a very simple pea, pancetta and pecorino salad. Life’s simple treasures at their best. Enjoy!
Peas, Pancetta and Pecorino Salad
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
2 cups of fresh peas, shelled
2 radishes, sliced very thin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Thin slices of Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Saute the pancetta in a medium saute pan over medium low heat until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crispy, about 10 minutes. There should be about 1 tablespoon of rendered fat in the pan. If more, drain pancetta reserving 1 tablespoon of fat.
2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the fresh peas and boil until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas.
3. When cooled, mix the peas with the pancetta and reserved pancetta fat. Add the sliced radishes. Stir to combine. Add the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh mint.
4. Top salad with shavings of the Pecorino Romano. Serve!