Peas are part of the fabacee family, originating from India, where they have been grown for more than 5000 years. At one time, they were one of the most consumed legumes. They were the staple food for many populations also due to the possibility of a long conservation. It is one of the few legumes that is resistant to cold temperatures, allowing it to be planted in the winter and harvested at the end of June. This peculiarity, along with the fact that they actually improve the soil – enriching it with nitrogen – make it a remarkably important species in farming.
The green peas we offer are processed through a de-huller that partially remove the skin and break the seed. In this way peas are more digestible and cooking time is reduced.
Peas are rich in vitamin A and C, but also in B1, B2, and PP. They also have important fibers that help regulate intestinal functions. In addition, they contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Their high content of simple sugars and the absence of bitter principles such as those contained in other vegetables, give them a sweet taste. These legumes provide energy and nutrition and are therefore recommended in cases of fatigue and weakness. The peas are recommended instead of beans for those suffering from colitis and bloating, and having a high content of vitamin C, are also well suited to strengthen the immune system. Folic acid and vitamin B6 are great for the cardiovascular system, helping with the maintenance of a healthy heart and blood vessels. The Chlorophyll present in them can produce red blood cells and is beneficial to the immune system. Peas also help fight bad cholesterol (LDL) and thanks to the presence of mineral salts, they also have excellent mineralizing properties.
How to use them:
Peas are used to prepare soups, casseroles and side dishes, and are also great for creams and purees.
Basic recipe: hulled peas do not require soaking, and need only 50-60 minutes of cooking. If soaked for a couple of hours, the cooking time is reduced.
Focaccia with ricotta and peas
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 2 puff pastry rolls, 350 g hulled peas, 300 g ricotta cheese, 1 onion, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, thyme
Cooking Instructions: boil the peas according to the basic recipe. In the meantime, peel, wash and chop the onion, then put it in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the peas while they are still a bit hard, before they become too soft. Season them with salt, thyme and pepper, cover them with some of the water used to cook the peas, and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes. Put the ricotta in a bowl, add salt and pepper, and knead it with a fork, adding a bit of the water used to boil the peas, to soften it. Line a greased baking tin with the pastry roll, sprinkle it with the cheese, then distribute the peas and onion on top. Then, with the other pastry roll, cover it, sealing the edge. Bake the focaccia in a preheated oven at 190 ° C for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
Genovese roasted rice
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 320 g Carnaroli rice, ½ onion, 50 g dried mushrooms, 100 g fresh sausage, 30 g butter, 250 g shelled peas, 750ml beef broth, 80 g grated Parmesan cheese, salt
Cooking Instructions: boil the peas according to the basic recipe, then drain and keep aside. Peel the onion, wash, dry and chop it finely. Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl with a little warm water and soak them. In a saucepan melt 20 g butter, add the chopped onion and let it cook together and then add the mushrooms – that have been drained and cut into small pieces and crumbled sausage. Sauté for a few minutes and add the peas, cook for 2 more minutes, stirring. Pour in the rice and toast it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add the hot broth all at once and continue cooking for 12 minutes. Add salt. Put half of the Parmesan cheese, stir and place the rice in a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and bake it in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and serve hot in a serving bowl.
Hulled peas and bacon
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 300 g shelled peas, 1 white onion, oil, salt and pepper, 200 g bacon
Cooking Instructions: peel and finely chop the onion, put it in a pot with a little oil and let it sautee. Then add the hulled peas, cover with cold water and cook over medium heat for 50 minutes. When there are only 15 minutes left until it finishes cooking, add the diced bacon, and season it with salt and a little oil. When serving you can add a dash of ground pepper.
Savoury porridge oats and hulled peas
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 200 g hulled peas, 100 g oatmeal, the stem of two bunches of broccoli, ½ onion, 1 liter water, salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil
Cooking Instructions: peel and slice the onion, wash the broccoli, remove the outer, more fibrous pieces, and cut them into cubes. Pour a little oil in a pan, put the vegetables and let sautee for a few minutes. Add the peas and water and cook for 30 minutes. Then add the oatmeal, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 40 minutes, adding water if necessary.
Spinach, potatoes and pea soup
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 400 g spinach, 250 g potatoes, 200 g hulled peas, 1 onion, 100ml milk, 1 liter vegetable stock, olive oil, salt and pepper
Cooking Instructions: clean the spinach: wash, dry, and cut it into strips. Peel the potatoes and peel the onion, then cut them into cubes. Rinse the peas. In a saucepan, sautee the onion with a little olive oil, without letting it brown. Add the potatoes and peas and let them brown. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Cook for 40 minutes, then add the slices of spinach and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Move everything to the blender and pour the puree back into saucepan. Heat it up again, add the milk, flavored with a pinch of salt and pepper and, if the soup is too thick, add more broth. Mix everything well, remove from heat and serve.
Risotto with peas, cream of peas and mint
Ingredients (makes 6 servings): 450 g hulled peas, 250 g bacon, 300 g Carnaroli rice, 1 ½ l vegetable broth, extra virgin olive oil, 1 sprig of mint, 2 shallots, salt, 1 glass of white wine, balsamic vinegar
Cooking Instructions: first, cook the peas according to the basic recipe. Then, in a pan, put a finely chopped shallot with a little oil and sautee. Add the peas, a little water, some salt and cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the boiling broth. Chop the other onion in another pan, let it sautee for a few minutes, then add the rice, blended with white wine and toast for a few minutes in the pan. Then cook it, adding a couple of ladles of broth at a time. Meanwhile, puree half of the peas with a little broth and the sprig of mint until it becomes creamy and put it aside. Fry the bacon in a frying pan until it becomes very brittle. When the rice is still a bit hard, add the other half of the peas and continue cooking. Divide the cream of peas into 4 plates, then with the help of a cup, place the risotto in the middle and garnish each plate with bacon, a few leaves of mint and balsamic vinegar.