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Tender, sweet-smelling garden peas that have just been shelled are one of the pleasures of spring.

i piselliThe best time to find them on market stalls in Florence and the surrounding area is from around the middle to the end of April, together with the fresh garlic and fresh parsley that are the two other essential ingredients in this traditional recipe.

1.2 kg of fresh garden peas in their pods, or 600 g of shelled peas
50 g of pancetta (Italian bacon produced from belly of pork), cubed
1 bulb of fresh garlic
1 sprig of parsley
extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of sugar
Shell the peas and place in a saucepan with 8 tablespoons of oil, the garlic (if the garlic is fresh and grown locally, mild and aromatic, it is not necessary to peel it, just wash it), the parsley (unchopped) and the salt. Add as much cold water as is required to cover the peas and cook uncovered on a low flame.
When the peas are almost cooked, that is after about 15 minutes, add the cubed pancetta and sugar. Cook for a few more minutes then remove from the flame before the liquid in which the peas have been cooked dries up.

Published: 18/4/2013

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