, Gloucester, MA

May 1, 2013

Peas with Pancetta

Italian bacon spruces up classic side dish

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

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Rockport resident Stephanie Smith knows how to spruce up an old classic. This recipe from the former caterer adds some flair to that side of peas you were going to serve at dinner.

For years, one outlet or another has told us to eat peas. However why do so is the question? The answer is simple; they are a great source of vitamin A, which helps maintain good eyesight.

For this recipe, the key is adding layers of flavor. Smith does this in a few ways. First, she adds garlic-infused olive oil to a pot, before adding pancetta and onions.

Pancetta is similar to bacon; it is cured with salt and spices but not smoked. This Italian bacon will adds another dimension of flavor — that of pork without bacon’s smokiness. Having a fatty element in this dish helps with the absorption of the vitamin A in the peas.

Then, she adds onions, and a clove of garlic, chopped, to bring it to the next level. The garlic is not as overpowering as one would assume, but it adds some depth to the dish. When it the pancetta, onions and garlic are browned, add the peas and simmer 5 minutes.

Even the pickiest eaters will want to try these peas. The pancetta and garlic will fill the room with a wonderful fragrance, draw your diners to the table and keep them there for more.

Peas with Pancetta and Onions


1 tablespoon olive oil (garlic infused)

1/2 cup pancetta, diced

1/2 cup onion, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

4 cup peas

1/2 cup dry white wine


1. Add oil to a large pot.

2. When hot, add the pancetta and onions, and stir them until they are golden brown.

3. Add garlic to the pot as well, and mix together.

4. When it is all incorporated and golden brown, add the peas.

5. Add white wine to the pot as well, and cover.

6. Simmer together for 5 minutes.


Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Smith, Changing Tides Gifts in Gloucester, 2013.