Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sicilian food, part 2 – Peas

In Sicily they love their peas, especially so during pea-season when there are peas right, left and center. At every vegetable seller you find huge trays of fresh peas, still in their pods, just waiting to be picked out and prepared. There are so many ways the Sicilians love cooking their peas. They put them in frittatas (thick fried omelettes), they do pasta dishes or risottos with sweet small peas and creamy parmesan and they also throw in a few handfuls in a rich pasta sauce with tomato, sardines and fennel.

One of our favourite pea dishes is vegetarian and we have named it “Sicilian eggs”. It is a wonderful and very easily prepared dish that reminds us a lot of Romanian cooking…with a twist. We had it the first time at our Italian friends from the pasticceria and since then we have made it one of our regular, quick dishes to make at home. Before we make it, we always take a walk to our local bakery to pick-up some fresh, crusty bread as an accompaniment.

But now back to the eggs. We start by lightly frying a chopped onion with two or three cloves of garlic in a little bit of olive oil until everything is soft. Then we add a good 250 grams of peas and a cup or so of stock. After boiling for 10 minutes we pour in around 500ml of pureed tomatoes and let everything simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

A few minutes before eating we cracks four eggs in the pea and tomato stew and let everything boil until the eggs have the desired consistency (we like them soft so about 3-4 minutes is enough).

Before serving up we add some fresh ricotta salata (or some other matured, salty cheese), parsley and enjoy everything with the wonderful bread we purchased earlier. Buon appetitto

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