Peas with Prosciutto...Piselli al Prosciutto Thanksgiving has got to be my favorite holiday of the year...memories still linger of waking up and smelling the aromas coming from the kitchen as my mom prepared our Thanksgiving meal....a time to reflect on God's blessings on our lives. Indeed, we have much to be thankful for...
As a kid I didn't care for peas too much, I loved corn, but didn't like peas. I preferred my corn without the added carrots and peas. But one Sunday, after the morning church service, our family was invited for lunch at a friend's house. As part of the meal, we were served a side of peas. Peas, mind you. Only peas. Absolutely no corn. Politely, I took a spoonful. You see, during those days, in our culture, you had to eat everything you were offered. You couldn't just pass the dish without taking a bit of it. And then, you had to eat everything off your plate. Maybe, it was just the way we were brought up...and, not necessarily the culture. But, that's just how it was. We grew up eating everything off of our plates...food was a blessing. We developed a non-picky attitude when quite young. It was fine at home...we loved mom's cooking and baking. But when you were invited over at someone else's home...well, things could be different. There could be some things you might not like. But we knew we had to eat it. It wasn't nice or proper to leave anything on the plate. So, I left the peas for last. When I finally took a bite, my attitude towards peas changed forever. Those peas were delicious! They weren't fancy at all...simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Oh, and butter...lots of butter. For the first time, I wanted more peas. I couldn't believe it...they were almost as good as corn with butter....well, almost:).
This dish caught my attention as I "leafed" through a list of Saveur's classic Roman side dishes found HERE. It looked so rustic and simple. I had all the ingredients to make it ...and for dinner I whipped it up in no time. I debated if I should even post the recipe....I thought the recipe was too simple and that most folks actually don't care for peas. But, you know, sometimes simple is best...uncomplicated isn't necessarily bad:). And so, I am posting it in case some of you might like to try it. You can definitely skip the prosciutto...or exchange it for some bacon or ham. This would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas or any other day for that matter. Simple to make. Definitely for those who like peas:). Hope you enjoy...
You will need: adapted from Saveur
3-4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3-4 slices prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped( I used sweet vidalia)
4 cups frozen peas( you can definitely use fresh, if you have)
1/2 tsp-1 tsp chile flakes, or to taste
a bit of water/stock if too dry
salt/pepper to taste
shaved Parmesan, optional
In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat and add onion along with the chopped prosciutto. Cook until onion in soft and lightly caramelized...the prosciutto should be on the crisp side. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Add the frozen peas and stir to combine. Continue cooking for about 2-4 minutes or until the peas are heated through and hot.
If you feel your peas are too dry, add a bit of water or stock ...mine were frozen and had plenty of frozen ice crystals and therefore didn't need any additional liquid. Add chile flakes along with some salt/pepper.
Toss to combine.
Garnish with shaved Parmesan~optional.