The Simple Way Ina Garten Elevates Classic Peas And Pancetta

ina garten closeup
ina garten closeup - Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Ina Garten has made a name for herself bringing great recipes into homes with her many shows, including "Barefoot Contessa" and "Be My Guest," and cookbooks like "Modern Comfort Food" and "Cook Like a Pro." But it's her 2012 publication, "Make It Ahead," that features her tasty rendition of peas and pancetta, a classic side dish with origins in Italy.

In her peas and pancetta recipe, Garten includes more than just the staple ingredients. Instead, she enhances the flavor with the addition of shallots -- and not just any shallots. Garten's shallots are caramelized in olive oil with the pancetta, which adds a nutty, sweet taste to the salty cut of pork belly before it's combined with the peas. Garten also adds some light seasoning to her peas and pancetta with sprinkles of salt and pepper, as well as some julienned mint for even more flavor.

Read more: The Best Meat For Your Charcuterie Board Isn't One You'd Expect

Other Ways To Upgrade Peas And Pancetta

Ina Garten's peas and pancetta
Ina Garten's peas and pancetta - Food Network

While Ina Garten chooses to add shallots to her peas and pancetta, there are other ways to enhance the flavor of this dish. In fact, following Garten's lead with shallots, you could channel similarly tasting foods like onions or garlic. Simply cook either of them in the pan with your pancetta and you'll get the same sort of sweet-yet-acidic flavor as they are lightly sauteed in oil. You could also swap out those options and pair your pancetta with mushrooms. Mushrooms lend an earthy taste to dishes and, when caramelized, can bring a savory flavor to dishes like peas and pancetta.

If you'd like to make this dish but don't have pancetta on hand, you can trade the meat for bacon. These meats are quite similar, but pancetta is unsmoked. So, using bacon instead of pancetta will give your dish an untraditional smokiness that meshes well with the nutty and sweet flavors of the other ingredients.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.