One of my favorite spring dishes combines Vidalia onions and peas, two early spring vegetables. I made a tasty twist on the basic recipe I’d previously used, adding pancetta for a nice touch of smoky flavor to the dish. Here’s the recipe:
1 lb. orechiette or medium shells
2 large Vidalia or other sweet onions, sliced thin
2 tbsp olive oil
12 ozs. fresh or frozen peas
½ cup pecorino romano cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
salt to taste
generous grinds of black pepper
2 slices pancetta, chopped into bite sized pieces
1. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat in skillet or medium pan. Add onions and salt to taste, cook until very soft, 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, begin cooking pasta according to package directions.
2. Push the onions to sides of pan, add pancetta. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas and oregano, cover, cook another 5 minutes or so.
3. Drain the pasta when it’s al dente, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. Combine the pasta and pea/onion combination in pan over low heat. Add the cheese, reserved water, and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Stir to combine for a couple of minutes. Serve and enjoy!