Peas and Pancetta


Kosher salt
2 Cups shelled fresh English peas (or thawed frozen peas)
1 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/4 lb snow peas, trimmed and sliced thinly
4 oz La Quercia pancetta, chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1-1/2 Cups chicken broth
1/2 Cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly-ground black pepper


Fill a large stock pot with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place a large heatproof bowl in your sink, and fill with ice water. If using freshly shelled peas, add the peas to the boiling water and cook very briefly, about 1 minute to make them barely tender. Add the sugar snap peas to the stock pot and continue to cook until the new additions turn bright green, another 2 min, then finally add the trimmed snow peas and cook for a scant 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon or a colander, quickly remove all the peas from the stock pot and plunge them into the bowl of ice water to cool (and to stop them cooking any further).

Place the chopped pancetta in a large heavy skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly browned and crispy, 8 to 10 min. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the cooked meat to plate lined with a paper towel, leaving the tasty drippings in the pan. Add the flour to the skillet and cook, whisking, until the drippings are absorbed and flour is browned a bit, about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream, stirring to eliminate flour lumps, and cook the mixture on medium heat until volume is reduced by one-third, about 6 minutes.

Drain the peas from their ice bath, shaking off any remaining water, then add the vegetables to the sauce mixture in the skillet (if using frozen peas, add them here). Cook, stirring frequently, until chilled peas are heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly add the lemon juice to the skillet, and season the dish with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer from skillet to a (preferably warmed) serving bowl and top with the pancetta, before serving immediately.